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Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has endorsed candidates in 22 legislative primary races - including five challengers to current GOP incumbents, four of them from North Idaho.
BOISE – Four candidates vying for the Idaho GOP gubernatorial nomination faced off Wednesday evening in their only scheduled debate, tackling the economy, state control of federal lands and the Affordable Care Act. Two-term Gov. Butch Otter is challenged by state Sen. Russ Fulcher, Walt Bayes and Harley Brown.
BOISE – Among the four GOP candidates facing off for the chance to become Idaho’s next secretary of state, the three with elective office experience made it clear in a televised debate Tuesday night that they see the fourth, who has none, as the front-runner. Former House Speaker Lawerence Denney and former state Sens. Evan Frasure and Mitch Toryanski heaped criticism on chief deputy Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane, the youngest candidate in the race and the one who’s been endorsed by retiring Secretary of State Ben Ysursa and many of Idaho’s 44 county clerks.
Governor Idaho Gov. Butch Otter faces a challenge from the right within his own party, as Senate Majority Caucus Chairman Russ Fulcher takes him on in the GOP primary. There’s high interest in this contest, as Fulcher portrays himself as the more conservative candidate because he opposes the highly successful state health insurance exchange Otter championed. Otter, in his bid for a third term, says he brought the state through a deep recession and still cut taxes. There also are two other candidates on the GOP ballot, Harley Brown and Walter Bayes, both of whom have frequently run for office but received few votes. On the Democratic side, millionaire businessman and Boise School Board Chairman A.J. Balukoff is the leading candidate; his primary competitor, Terry Kerr of Idaho Falls, hasn’t campaigned and previously ran for local office as a Republican.
BOISE – A new group with ties to Republican Party central committees in two Idaho counties has raised more than $100,000 in the past week for campaign attacks on Idaho’s Republican governor and attorney general. The group calling itself the Integrity in Government PAC sent mailings critical of Gov. Butch Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden to every registered Republican in the state. The PAC also has a website criticizing Otter and calling for his defeat in Idaho’s primary on Tuesday.
BOISE – Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has built a long political career on disdain for the federal government, stirring talk of freedom and encouraging Idahoans to be the “architects of our own destiny.” So the 72-year-old, a millionaire rancher who ran for Congress a decade and a half ago on a pledge to tell the feds to “butt out” of the state, seems a bit puzzled about his GOP primary challenge by a state Senate leader who maintains Otter is not conservative enough.
BOISE – Saying Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has “lost his way,” fellow Republican and U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador endorsed the governor’s opponent, Russ Fulcher, on Monday. “Butch Otter has done a lot of things to admire in office,” Labrador said at a Statehouse news conference with Fulcher. “But after 40 years in government, he has lost his way. … Idahoans are looking for leaders with political courage and fresh ideas, and Russ Fulcher has both.”
BOISE – Sixteen- and 17-year-olds should be able to work in mechanized logging operations under parental supervision, 1st District Congressman Raul Labrador says. He’s proposed legislation to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to allow that, saying, “While the agriculture industry enjoys regulatory exemptions that allow family members between the ages of 16 and 17 to work under their parents’ supervision, the logging industry doesn’t have that same right.”