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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Otter’s early re-election announcement…

A few thoughts on Gov. Butch Otter's surprise announcement last night that he'll seek a third term as governor in 2014: First, it's awfully early for that news. Otter is just one year into his second four-year term; that election is three years away. Then again, Otter has a history of announcing early. When he ran for his first term as governor, he announced his candidacy two years ahead of time - before he'd even taken the oath of office for the third congressional term to which he'd just been elected.

Otter's press secretary, Jon Hanian, said, "He announced last night that he was going to run. ... He was pretty emphatic about it."

Second: Otter's decision, if he sticks with it, would depart from the example of one of his mentors, former Gov. Phil Batt. Batt, then 70, stunned supporters in 1997 when he announced that he wouldn't seek a second term as governor, noting, "If I were to serve out another term, I would be nearly 76.'' 
The successful onion farmer and longtime Idaho politician said he'd decided it was time to ``step aside'' in favor of the next generation of Idaho leaders.

Otter is 69, and turns 70 in May. If he served out a third term, by the end of it in 2018, he'd be 76.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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