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New fundraising group backing Democrats in key legislative races

According to the group's first campaign fundraising report, Responsible Leadership for Idaho has raised more than $158,000 since it formed five months ago - an rare feat for the minority party in Republican-dominant Idaho.

Credit: Deren Martinez/KTVB
Giant yellow ribbons have adorned four columns on the Idaho Capitol for more than a decade.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A new political action committee is raising thousands of dollars from the state's handful of wealthy left-leaning groups to help support Democrats in Idaho's toughest legislative races.

According to the group's first campaign fundraising report, Responsible Leadership for Idaho has raised more than $158,000 since it formed five months ago - an rare feat for the minority party in Republican-dominant Idaho.

The largest donation came from the Idaho Democratic Party's legislative campaign committee, which gave $70,000 in July. The fundraising arm of the state's largest teacher union gave $32,000 and a Planned Parenthood PAC chipped in $9,500.

The group's spending has focused primarily on three legislative races, including sending mailers in support of House Minority Leader John Rusche and Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett. Both face challengers in the Nov. 8 election.