Otter Files for Second Term 

Eight file for governor, Seven desire the post

Candidate filing closes Friday, March 19 at 5 p.m. For updates, check citydesk.boiseweekly.com

Gov. C. L. "Butch" Otter filed to run for a second term after months of evasiveness about his plans.

Otter told an Idaho Press Club breakfast a few weeks ago that he did not want to start campaigning before the Legislature settled on a direction with his proposals. With state budgets now set, Otter announced March 12 that Debbie Field will take a leave of absence from her post as Idaho drug czar to manage his campaign. Field ran Otter's 2006 campaign.

Otter joins a crowded field for the Tuesday, May 25, GOP Primary.

Field said that Otter takes the primary seriously and has been connecting with voters through his Capitol for a Day program, in which he holds court in a different county seat across the state once a month, and on the GOP Lincoln Day circuit.

"It's more important than ever that people who want to be elected listen to the people," Field said.

Otter also announced a new finance director, Kendra Waitley of Boise, and new Eastern Idaho regional coordinator, Sheila Olsen of Idaho Falls.

Olsen replaces Otter's 2006 East Idaho chair, Sharon Parry, an Idaho Falls city councilor and longtime Republican who signed on with Democratic challenger Kieth Allred recently. Parry told the Post-Register that Otter has not been able to connect with Idaho citizens during his first term.

Allred filed to run earlier last week, saying that Otter is out of ideas for turning the economy around.

"The fact that Otter has drawn primary opposition of this scale shows that other people in Idaho are dissatisfied with his leadership," Allred spokesman Shea Andersen said.

Otter faces at least four opponents in the May primary.

Walter Bayes, an anti-abortion activist from Wilder; Rex Rammell, a large-animal veterinarian from Idaho Falls; and Republican comedian and retired state worker Ron "Pete" Peterson, who is squatting on the domain name beatbutch.com until at least after the primary had all filed at press time. Ada County Commissioner Sharon Ullman told BW she is running against Otter as well, though at press time, she had not filed. Ullman signs have cropped up across Boise, and Ullman said she has recently made campaign stops in Coeur d'Alene, Twin Falls and Idaho Falls.

Also running are independent candidate Jana Kemp, Libertarian Ted Dunlap and Lee R. Chaney Sr., who is challenging Allred in the Democratic primary.

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