AP declares Minnick winner - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

AP declares Minnick winner

BOISE - The Associate Press reports Democrat Walt Minnick has ousted Republican U.S. Rep. Bill Sali in the 1st Congressional District, scoring Idaho's biggest political upset in more than a decade and adding an unexpected member to the House Democratic majority.

Minnick won with just more than 50 percent, or about 3,700 votes, becoming the first Democrat from Idaho to win a congressional seat since Larry LaRocco in 1992.

The GOP has controlled the conservative bastion in the state's largely rural west and north for 37 of the last 41 years.

Minnick, a 66-year-old former business executive with a wood-products company, emphasized his Republican roots as a 1970s Nixon White House staffer and gun-toting hunter.

Sali lost after one term, in part because his brusque style has alienated members of his own party's establishment.
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