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Eye On Boise

Might Boise School Board member A.J. Balukoff run for governor?

Might A.J. Balukoff, longtime Boise School Board member, run for governor of Idaho as a Democrat in 2014? Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News explores the possibility on his blog today; you can read his full post here. Balukoff told Richert he’s being urged to run, and is considering it, but hasn’t decided. “I will continue to talk with people I trust and respect as I consider whether to run for governor,” Balukoff told Idaho EdNews. “I will decide whether I can devote the time and energy to a statewide campaign, and if I can mount a financially viable campaign. I will make a decision by the end of the year.”

Balukoff, a retired CPA and community volunteer, has served on the Boise School Board since 1997; the board came out strongly against the voter-rejected “Students Come First” school reform laws pushed by state schools Superintendent Tom Luna and backed by GOP Gov. Butch Otter. Balukoff said he’s considering the run “because education is so important to me.”

Balukoff holds an accounting degree from BYU. He’s lived in Boise since 1982, where he’s operated a large CPA firm and a chain of athletic clubs. He’s now part of the ownership groups of the Grove Hotel, the Idaho Steelheads hockey team, Century Link Arena, downtown office buildings and more. A former Eagle Scout and scout leader and official, he serves on the boards of the Boise Public Library, St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center, the Esther Simplot Performing Arts Academy, and Ballet Idaho, and is the former bishop of his LDS church ward. He and his wife Susie have eight children and 26 grandchildren.

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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