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BOISE -- Idaho Republican U.S. Reps. Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador easily beat their Democratic rivals and will return to Congress.

With half of eastern Idaho precincts reporting Wednesday, Simpson tallied nearly 68 percent, to just 32 percent for his Democratic rival, Nicole LeFavour.

Labrador was trouncing ex-NFL player Jimmy Farris, 64 percent to 30 percent with nearly half of western and northern Idaho precincts reporting.

For Labrador, a win means his second term since sweeping into office in 2010 on a wave of tea party support.

In an interview, Labrador acknowledged it was hard to take Farris' challenge seriously while campaigning, given the Democrat voted for the first time in 2008.

The 44-year-old immigration lawyer from Eagle with a storybook ascension from a Puerto Rican childhood to rising congressional star said among his biggest priority when he returns to Washington, D.C., will be helping trim the nation's $16 trillion debt.

Despite the win, Labrador called the night bittersweet, with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney losing.

Labrador campaigned heavily for Romney in Nevada.

On his way to winning his eighth-straight election, Simpson -- like Labrador -- has made paring the nation's $16 trillion deficit a top priority when Congress returns to Washington, D.C.

In an interview, Simpson said he expects a decision to avoid painful automatic budget cuts -- known as sequestration, in Washington, D.C.-speak -- due to take effect Jan. 2 will be postponed months, while Congress and President Obama struggle with a compromise.

Simpson says he fears Tuesday's election, which reaffirmed the current constellation of a Democratic-led Senate, Republican-led House and an Obama-led White House, could be a recipe for more gridlock in the nation's capital.

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