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Eye On Boise

2010 guv’s race starts shaping up…

Here's a link to my full story in today's paper on what's up in Idaho's 2010 gubernatorial race, from the half-dozen lesser-known candidates already out stumping to the lack of any campaign launch yet from either incumbent Gov. Butch Otter or a major Democratic challenger. Otter told Eye on Boise, "I'm not gonna lock myself down to a deadline," but he also pointed out that 105 legislators, three of the four seats in the state's congressional delegation and all statewide offices also are up in 2010, and to his knowledge, out of all those, only state Controller Donna Jones has so far announced her re-election bid. "There's six of the seven constitutional officers haven't announced, Crapo hasn't announced, Simpson, Minnick, so why the rush for me?" Otter asked. "Frankly, I think the more intense and the shorter these campaigns, the better it is for everybody, certainly the better it is for the constituency, because you kinda condense everything into a shorter period of time. Not to mention the cost to candidates themselves."

Longtime Idaho political observer Jim Weatherby, a political scientist emeritus at Boise State University, said it's not unduly late for an incumbent governor to announce his intentions - former Gov. Phil Batt made his announcement the September of the year prior to the election. But it is getting late for a major-party challenger to step forward. "They should be raising money," Weatherby said. Yesterday, the Idaho Democratic Party launched a candidate recruitment committee, headed by Betty Richardson and aimed at all top races but especially the governor's race. "Well, you know, I applaud them," Otter said in response. But, he added, "It would be unfortunate if they had to talk somebody into doing it, because these things are tough enough when you do it and you've got fire in your belly."

Said Otter, "I'll tell you we've got a committee that is working on candidate recruitment as well - not for the office of governor, I can assure you - but candidate recruitment where we think we can marshal our resources and make a difference." Doesn't that little aside of his there sound like a hint? Sounds like Otter's running.

The six lesser-known candidates who already are out campaigning have filed their preliminary paperwork with the state to become candidates and begin raising campaign money. Otter's paperwork, first filed in 2004, carries over. "I filed that paperwork and I'm raising money," he said.

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Eye On Boise

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