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  [ID-1] Solidly Republican, Suddenly in Doubt
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ContributorArmyDem 
Last EditedArmyDem  Oct 24, 2006 12:02am
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CategoryNews
MediaNewspaper - Washington Post
News DateTuesday, October 24, 2006 06:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionGOP Faces Unlikely Challenges in West

By Blaine Harden
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, October 24, 2006; Page A08

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -- It is, perhaps, the political equivalent of hell freezing over in the interior West.

This red state where conservative Republicans routinely wipe the floor with hapless Democrats has a Republican running for Congress who just might lose.

The suddenly competitive race is a delicious development for Larry Grant, a Democratic candidate for the House who finds himself transformed from sacrificial lamb to reason for worry among national Republican strategists.

His Republican opponent is Bill Sali, an eight-term state representative with a corrosive reputation for irking his fellow Republicans. The Republican speaker of the Idaho House, Bruce Newcomb, said this spring of Sali: "That idiot is just an absolute idiot."

With an impish smile, Grant, who was a high-tech executive in Boise, took a moment from knocking on residents' doors here last week and said: "Can you imagine Republicans sitting around in Washington and saying to each other, 'Jeez, now we have to spend more money to win -- in Idaho?' "
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