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Eye On Boise

Otter on PAC’s logo: ‘Nothing like a rat’

This cartoon otter logo, for Idaho Gov. Butch Otter's new "Otterpac," marks the first time in his decades-long political career that Otter has used an image of his namesake animal as a logo.
This cartoon otter logo, for Idaho Gov. Butch Otter's new "Otterpac," marks the first time in his decades-long political career that Otter has used an image of his namesake animal as a logo.

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter said it was First Lady Lori Otter who brought him a graphic artist’s rendition of a cartoon otter logo for the couple’s new PAC, a symbol he’s never used before in any of his 25 campaigns, 24 of which he won. “It is so cute,” Otter said. “Where’s that been 25 elections ago? I might have won the one that I lost. I could have been 25 instead of 24-and-1.”

Otter said when he was first running for governor in 1978, a Canyon County supporter, Pete Hackworth, a newspaperman who later worked for Sen. Steve Symms, advised against making his namesake animal into a campaign logo. “He said, ‘Don’t use the otter as your deal, because it looks like a rat,’” Otter recalled.

“I said, ‘No, rats have this long, hairy nose, and otters have a cute little mustache and a flat face,’” he said.  “But I thought at the time it was good advice. But that logo looks nothing like a rat.”

Otter said he developed a campaign logo featuring two cowboys seated on horseback, shaking hands, and used it in lots of campaigns. "I think I first used it in my '99 race for Congress," he said. He said people looking at that logo got the message: "That's a contract in the West - that's an Idaho value. When you make a promise, you keep it." Asked what message the new cartoon-otter logo sends, Otter deadpanned: "It means it's not a rat."



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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