February 4, 2009 in City

Despite fundraising, Otter mum on plans

Associated Press
 

BOISE – Gov. Butch Otter has yet to say if he will seek another term, but that’s not stopping the Republican from raising the cash he’d need to pay for a second campaign.

During the last six months of 2008, Otter took in $111,866 in contributions, spent nearly $58,000 and has $106,027 in cash on hand, according to records filed with the Idaho secretary of state. For all of 2008, records show Otter brought in $136,795.

Still, Otter, a millionaire who lives on a ranch in Star, has yet to make public his political plans for a second term. His first term expires in 2010.

At a news conference with reporters last month, Otter told reporters he would make his plans public once he was ready.

But for some lawmakers, Otter’s growing campaign chest and recent political fundraisers in the state suggest he intends to run again.

“One would think,” he was running again, Sen. Chuck Coiner, R-Twin Falls, told the Times-News Monday. “Why else would you raise money?”

In the last year, Otter, a former three-term U.S. House member and executive at J.R. Simplot Co., has received donations from a mix of business interests inside and outside the state.

Among his 180 reported contributions, Otter got $10,000 from the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, $5,000 from Simplot, $1,500 from Pharmaceutical Research Manufacturers of America, $5,000 from Micron Technology, $4,000 from Anheuser-Busch and $5,000 from Coeur d’Alene Mines.

Among the largest individual contributions: $1,000 from Jeff Sayer in Bountiful, Utah; $1,500 from Stephen A. Bieri in San Diego; $1,000 from Jack Carney in St. Francisville, Ill.; and $1,000 from Donna Kelsey in Sun Valley, Idaho.

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