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Eye On Boise

Tue., Jan. 6, 2009, 12:50 p.m.

Another term for Otter?

So why would it be that a top priority for Gov. Butch Otter in his selection of a new lieutenant governor was a candidate who would run for that office in two years? Otter said that was key. There had been some speculation that the GOP governor might pick one of the Republican hopefuls considering a run for Congress in two years against newly elected Democratic 1st District Rep. Walt Minnick. That would have given that candidate a boost in statewide name recognition before making a congressional bid. "Certainly that could have been one of the cards we could have played," Otter told reporters in response to questions at a news conference today. But, he said, "I was looking for not just a future candidate for some higher office, but I was also looking for a great partner, and a person that I thought could handle the responsibilities that I wanted to extend to that office."

So that means, 1) Little is running for lieutenant governor in two years, not for Congress (he confirmed this); and 2) It sure sounds like Otter is saying he'll run for another term as governor. "I didn't say that, Betsy," he said. "I was very careful about not saying that." But he has been raising money "to replenish my campaign fund," he acknowledged. And he did say, "I fully expect, if I'm a candidate for governor in the next race, and my term will be up in two years, I fully expect and hope that Brad will run for lieutenant governor and once again I fully intend to endorse him and campaign for him. So that was obviously one of the considerations. Because there were some people that said, no, they wouldn't run for lieutenant governor again."

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Eye On Boise

News, happenings and more from the Idaho Legislature and the state capital.