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Eye On Boise

Three candidates for governor to debate tonight in Nampa: Otter, Balukoff and Pankey…

Three candidates for governor of Idaho will face off in a live debate tonight at 8 on Boise TV station KTVB, broadcast from Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa. The three: GOP Gov. Butch Otter, Democratic challenger A.J. Balukoff, and Constitution Party candidate Steve Pankey.

Libertarian candidate John Bujak, who debated Otter and Balukoff in an Oct. 3 debate in Coeur d’Alene, along with independent candidate “Pro-Life,” and who is also scheduled to debate Otter and Balukoff on Idaho Public TV on Oct. 30, is crying foul at his exclusion from the Nampa matchup. But KTVB told Bujak he didn’t meet its criteria for participation in the debate, the AP reports, including $10,000 in outside donations. Pankey also didn’t meet that, but qualified under a separate criteria for candidates who had received at least 10 percent of the vote in a previous statewide race; Pankey ran in the GOP primary election for lieutenant governor in 2010 and received 13.5 percent of the vote.

UPDATE: Bujak has been providing additional information to KTVB, and just sent out this tweet: "I believe that KTVB is going to allow me to participate in tonight's debate. I should have confirmation before noon. Stay tuned!"

At the first debate in the governor’s race in Twin Falls on Sept. 24, just Balukoff and Bujak faced off, after Otter declined to participate. The Oct. 9 Idaho Falls City Club debate featured just Otter and Balukoff. Click below for more from AP reporter Kimberlee Kruesi.

Bujak not among participants in Tuesday's debate 
By KIMBERLEE KRUESI, Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho's Libertarian gubernatorial candidate John Bujak said it's unbelievable that he did not meet the requirements to participate in the latest governor debate.

When contacted by The Associated Press on Monday, Bujak said he didn't know his name was not among the three candidates participating in Tuesday's debate. But KTVB executive director Kate Morris said all of the possible debate candidates were notified of the qualifications when they were invited on May 28, including Bujak.

Currently, Republican Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, Democratic candidate A.J. Balukoff and Constitutional candidate Steve Pankey will face off at 8 p.m. in a debate hosted by KTVB.

Bujak says KTVB told him Monday that he needed to show proof that he raised $10,000 in campaign donations to qualify for the debate. But because Monday was Columbus Day, Bujak contended he couldn't provide deposit slips until the next day.

Third-party contributions to Bujak's campaign did not meet the qualification criteria, according to his campaign finance report filed with the Secretary of State's office.

According to campaign reports, Pankey also fell below the $10,000 mark as of Sept. 30, but he met another qualification to participate in the debate, having won more than 10 percent of the vote in a previous statewide race, according to his campaign finance report filed with the Secretary of State's office. Pankey unsuccessfully ran for lieutenant governor in 2010, and he received about 13 percent of the vote in the primary.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press

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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