Eye On Boise

Former Gov. Batt calls for fiscal restraint

Former Idaho Gov. Phil Batt, center, endorses GOP congressional candidate Vaughn Ward, right, in Caldwell on Tuesday. At left is state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna, who also endorsed Ward in his GOP primary race against state Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle. (Betsy Russell)
Former Idaho Gov. Phil Batt, center, endorses GOP congressional candidate Vaughn Ward, right, in Caldwell on Tuesday. At left is state Superintendent of Schools Tom Luna, who also endorsed Ward in his GOP primary race against state Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle. (Betsy Russell)

Phil Batt wasn't Idaho's flashiest governor, but the onion farmer from Wilder was one of its most respected, both for his fiscal restraint and his political vision. So when Batt, now 83, stepped away from his retirement on Tuesday to endorse Vaughn Ward in an Idaho GOP congressional primary race, it resounded. "I think the governor understands the gravity of the situation, with trying to take back this seat," said Ward, who faces Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Eagle, and three other Republicans in the GOP primary race for Idaho's 1st Congressional District seat - which now is held by conservative Democrat Walt Minnick.

When Batt was chairman of the Idaho Republican Party, he rebuilt it from a low point at which Idaho's state Senate was split 21-21 between Republicans and Democrats into the powerhouse it stands today, controlling every statewide elective office, three of four seats in the congressional delegation and two-thirds of the Legislature. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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