Idaho Gov. Butch Otter was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the Washington state Republican Party convention tonight in Spokane, but now he’s canceled. “He’s going to greet the troops that are coming in tonight at 7:30 … out at Gowen,” said Otter’s press secretary, Jon Hanian. Otter had been planning on making the trip to Spokane and had his speech prepared. “It was fairly recent that he found out they were coming in,” Hanian said. “He felt it was important, they’ve given up a significant portion of their life to go overseas and honor their commitment and responsibility, and so he felt it was equally important to make sure he was here to welcome them back.”
About 30 Idaho Army National Guard soldiers will be arriving at Gowen Field in Boise tonight after being deployed for nearly a year to Operation Iraqi Freedom. The BlackHawk helicopter unit was assigned to communications and movement of personnel and equipment from Kuwait into southern Iraq.
As for the Washington Republicans, they’ll have to settle for a speech from their party’s gubernatorial candidate, Dino Rossi – his second of the day.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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