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Eye On Boise

Of Bibles, politics and family heritage…

Lewiston Tribune reporter Bill Spence turned up this interesting anecdote in his feature story today on the Bibles that Idaho’s top state elected officials use to take their oaths of office, including cherished family heirlooms: Gov. Butch Otter used his late father’s Bible, which he also used to take his first oath as lieutenant governor in 1987. “I got it when he died,” Otter told Spence, who also reported that the father and son didn’t particularly agree when it came to politics. “His dad actually ran for the Legislature as a Democrat from Washington County in 1974, at the same time Otter was running as a Republican from Canyon County,” Spence reported.

“We separated on what government should and shouldn’t be,” Otter told Spence. “When I ran against Marjorie Ruth Moon for lieutenant governor in 1986, she'd stay with my folks when she was in Weiser. Frank Church, Cecil Andrus, they stayed with them as well. Of course, I was welcomed there, too." Otter described his father as "a sincere, Roosevelt Democrat."

The note cards his father used to introduce him at his 1987 oath are still tucked into the Bible, Spence reports. The book has also been signed by the various judges who administered the oath. Spence’s report is online here, though a subscription is needed to access the full article.

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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