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Posts tagged: Idaho governors

Incumbent ID guvs usually win primaries

Political scientist Eric Ostermeier of the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs has dug up some interesting numbers in light of 1st District Congressman Raul Labrador’s announcement yesterday that he won’t challenge Gov. Butch Otter in the GOP primary this year. Among them: Only two Idaho governors seeking re-election since 1904 have failed to win their party’s nomination, Democrat Barzilla Clark in 1938 and Republican Robert Smylie in 1966.

However, once they get to the general election, incumbent Idaho governors historically haven’t done as well. Only 19 of 30 incumbent governors – 63 percent – who sought re-election won. The record’s even worse for GOP governors: 10 victories and 7 defeats since statehood, with eight not seeking re-election. That’s a 58.8 percent success rate. Read more. Betsy Russell, EOB


Carlson: Idaho’s Best Governors

As you know, Chris Carlson/Carlson Chronicles has written a book in which he dubs Cecil Andrus as Idaho's best governor. Now, he ranks the other governors since 1946 when he was born:

  • 2. Dr. C. A. Robins, 1947-1951. The first of the modern era governors, he set the state on the correct course forcing substantial consolidation of school districts, paying teachers more, removing patronage from the Highway department, establishing the Department of Labor, and the Workman’s Comp program, obtaining separate status for Idaho State University; the list goes on, but you get the picture. He was a doer. Doc served as State Senator from Benewah County from 1939 to 1945 and was Senate Pro Tempore during his last session.
  • 3. John V. Evans, 1977 to 1987. Smart enough to continue along the path Andrus chartered. Brought a congenial collaborative style to the office that enabled him to get along with solidly Republican legislatures. He had served in the Legislature as the State Senator from Oneida County before becoming Andrus’ Lt. Governor in 1976.
  • More here


Trib: At Least Dirk Showed Up

When C.L. (Butch) Otter became Idaho's governor in 2007, one thing seemed certain: He'd shine in comparison to his predecessor, Dirk Kempthorne. … Five years later, Otter has yet to deliver any major initiative through the Legislature. After failing miserably to persuade his own party to back a badly needed infusion of cash into transportation in 2009, Otter has ceded the stage. Lawmakers have dominated spending issues. Others have usurped the governor's traditional role of setting the political agenda, whether it was schools Superintendent Tom Luna's school reform package or the Tea Party's effort to defy national health care reform through the discredited tactic of nullification. Five years later, it's Kempthorne who gets points for engineering a successful rebooting in his fifth year, while Otter's fifth year shows no turnaround/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. More to come. (AP file photo: Dirk Kempthorne, as Interior secretary in 2008, testifies in Washington)

Question: How do you consider to be the better governor — Dirk Kempthorne or Butch Otter?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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