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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Idaho

Democrat Brady to run for governor again

John Miller Associated Press

BOISE – A former Idaho Falls newspaper publisher is making another run to become Idaho’s governor in 2006, hoping he’ll be the first Democrat in a decade and the first person from eastern Idaho in 20 years to hold the office.

Jerry Brady, former publisher of the Idaho Falls Post Register, said in an interview he will officially announce his candidacy Monday and Tuesday at events in seven Idaho cities.

“We’ve had pretty much lock-step leadership of one-party control. There’s very little balance,” Brady told the Associated Press on Friday. “The state worked very well when it had a Democratic governor and a Republican legislature, and I’d like to restore that.”

Brady, 69, who remains president of the Post Co., which owns the Post Register and KIFI-TV in Idaho Falls, lost the 2002 race to Dirk Kempthorne by a 56-42 percent margin.

Kempthorne, a Republican, isn’t seeking a third term and U.S. Rep. Butch Otter has announced plans to run for the GOP nomination. Lt. Gov. Jim Risch is expected to announce his candidacy, but hasn’t done so yet.

Brady, who will speak in Boise at the former Union Pacific depot at 3:45 p.m., hopes to reverse a shift toward Republican candidates who have been on the march in Idaho since 1992.

The last Democratic governor was Cecil Andrus, whose second stint in the office ended Jan. 1, 1995.

The last governor from eastern Idaho was also a Democrat, John Evans of Malad City, who served from 1977 to 1987.

“You can win from eastern Idaho, you just have to work a little harder,” said Idaho Democratic Party chairman Richard Stallings.

Stallings, who served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, expects a competitive primary for the Democratic nomination.

“We have two or three competitive candidates who are looking at it seriously,” Stallings said.

Other candidates could include Clint Stennett, the current state Senate minority leader from the Democratic bastion of Ketchum. Stennett didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.

State Rep. Debbie Field, R-Boise, who is the campaign manager for Otter, said her side would take any Democratic opponent seriously.

“There are distinct differences between the two of them,” Field said. “Butch is an incredibly positive, upbeat candidate and he really has a vision of where he wants to go.”

Otter has raised at least $240,000 since announcing his candidacy on Dec. 15.

Brady spent nearly $1 million in 2002, including $287,000 in loans from himself. He says he expects to raise as much as $1.5 million for what’s now due to be a 20-month campaign.

Stallings acknowledged the inroads made by Republicans in Idaho since 1992, when Kempthorne turned away his own bid to switch from the U.S. House to the Senate. Now, all four of Idaho’s national leaders in the U.S. Senate and House are Republicans, and President Bush captured two-thirds of the state vote Nov. 4.

“I think that the pendulum has swung as far as it’s going to,” Stallings said. “I think it’s going to come back.”

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