Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Idaho Governor Race

Race of the Day

August 15, 2006
84 Days Until Election Day

Idaho Governor

Status: Republican Open
2004 Presidential Result: Red State (West)

Outlook: Safe Republican

It is rare that any open Governorship would appear to be such a foregone conclusion but there does not appear to be any sort of evidence that Republican Congressman Butch Otter will not become the next Governor of Idaho, one of the most GOP friendly states in America.

The most interesting angle to the Idaho political situation is of course the ascencion of term-limited Governor Dirk Kempthorne to become the Secretary of the Interior, which then elevated Lt. Governor Jim Risch to the Governorship, where he is currently serving through the end of the year. While Risch would certainly would have liked to remain Governor, he had very little time to decide that even a position of incumbency would not be enough to challenge the colorful Otter, who had gotten a much earlier start on this race, in a Republican primary. Instead, the incumbent Governor is once again seeking to be elected Lt. Governor in what might be a political first.

The Gem State is strongly Republican both on the federal and state level. Otter had been elected Lt. Governor four times and has represented half of Idaho’s population in Congress since 2000, never breaking a political sweat in the process. The one defeat in Otter’s career was a 1978 loss for Governor in the Republican primary.

The Democrat nominee is newspaper publisher Jerry Brady, who ran a respectable race for Governor against Kempthorne, who was slightly politically beleaguered, in 2002, but still finished far behind and was never really in contention. Once again, Brady will be seriously trailing in terms of campaign finances and will be competing in a very politically tough state environment for Democrats.

After spending many years as the number two figure in state government and a sabbatical in Washington D.C., Butch Otter seems primed to finally realize his goal of becoming Governor of Idaho.

In addition to that milestone, the 64 year old Otter can look forward to getting married this Friday to his 38 year old fiancée. The couple has been together for the past ten years and it reportedly took five proposals before the likely future First Lady of the land of potaotos said yes. Otter seems to have an abundance of patience in things both political and personal. We extend our congratulations and well-wishes.

Otter campaign link:


2006 Governor Races predicted thus far: 2 D, 9 R
Post-election total of Governors predicted thus far: 10 D, 15 R