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State controller launching campaign for another term

Idaho state Controller Brandon Woolf is launching his election campaign for a full term in the post today, with the state’s last two GOP state controllers – Donna Jones and Keith Johnson – joining all six of Idaho’s current GOP constitutional officers helping head up his campaign. that includes Gov. Butch Otter, Lt. Gov. Brad Little, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, Treasurer Ron Crane, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, and Superintendent of Public instruction Tom Luna.

“It’s one thing for me to tell you I’m trustworthy,” Woolf said in a statement. “However, you can verify this for yourself by looking at the many people who support my candidacy.” More than 90 people crowded into the Capitol rotunda for his campaign launch today, pictured above.

At 41, Woolf is among the youngest to hold the post; he was the chief deputy controller when he was appointed to the top job by otter in 2012, after Jones suffered serious injuries in an auto accident. Woolf, who holds an MBA from Boise State and a political science degree from Utah State, started in the controller’s office as an intern in 1997, and worked his way up through a variety of positions including leading the agency’s division that processes payroll for more than 24,000 state employees. In January, as state controller, he launched transparent.idaho.gov, a state transparency website making large amounts of automatically updated state data, including salaries and work force data, freely available to the public.

Woolf was joined by Otter, Jones, Little and more at his Statehouse announcement today.

Woolf already faces an opponent in the May GOP primary: Todd Hatfield, owner of a McCall log home company, who unsuccessfully challenged Jones in 2010, garnering 43.6 percent of the vote to Jones’ 56.4 percent. Hatfield ran on a platform of getting the state lands department to offer smaller timber sales, to give smaller logging companies a shot at the business; this time around, he lists 36 “industry supporters” on his website, all small logging or trucking companies or wood products manufacturers.

Idaho’s primary election is May 20.


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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