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As House Republicans Brace for Losses, Freedom Caucus Prepares for Growth
Hard-line conservative bloc has been raising millions to help recruit new members

Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., was an early recruit of the Freedom Caucus and she is now the group’s only female member. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At a time when most House Republican factions are preparing to see their ranks shrink regardless of whether their party loses its majority next week, one caucus is expecting its membership to grow.

The House Freedom Caucus, considered the most conservative bloc of Republicans in Congress, is expecting to increase its roster of 35 members to somewhere in the 37-to-40 range, based on the number of incumbent and recruited candidates they predict could lose Tuesday.

Labrador Takes Wife Off Campaign Payroll
Idaho Republican is a candidate for governor

Idaho Rep. Raúl R. Labrador announced his campaign for governor in May (Bill Clark/Roll Call file photo)

Idaho Rep. Raúl R. Labrador took his wife off his campaign payroll this year for the first time since taking office in 2011, a review of the congressman’s FEC reports shows.

The (Spokane) Spokesman-Review confirmed that Rebecca Johnson Labrador, who has kept the books for her husband since his first term in 2011, has not been paid this year by Labrador’s House campaign fund or the GOP lawmaker’s campaign for governor, which he launched and filed with the FEC in May.

Labrador Backs Candidate in Race to Succeed him
Idaho Republican running for governor and vacating House seat

Labrador is vacating his seat to run for governor. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

The Idaho GOP primary is about one year away, but Rep. Raúl R. Labrador has already chosen who he wants to succeed him in the House.

Labrador announced Thursday that he is backing former state Sen. Russ Fulcher in the primary to replace Labrador, who is running for governor. Fulcher had also announced a gubernatorial bid, but dropped out of the race Thursday to run for Congress instead.