Election Central

Bank on it: Fulcher will announce challenge to Gov. Otter in Saturday fly-around

Senate Majority Caucus Chairman Russ Fulcher will make stops in Meridian and at airports in Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls Saturday to announce his decision on whether to challenge Gov. Butch Otter in the May 2014 Republican primary.

The Meridian Republican spent three weeks on statewide a “Russ Fulcher Listens” tour, billed as an exploratory campaign. He picked up from there with a Monday appearance in Coeur d’Alene with tea party backed colleagues from the Legislature.

In a news release Wednesday night, Fulcher announced that he will make his plans known Saturday.

“After much prayerful consideration, Republican Senator Russ Fulcher has made a decision about a potential gubernatorial bid and will publicly announce his intentions,” said the release.

Fulcher, who isn’t made of money, surely wouldn’t be flying around the state to say he’s decided not to run.  Despite Otter’s likely financial advantage and incumbency, Fulcher’s in.

The former Micron and Preco executive is no stranger to uphill challenges.  In 2011, he ran against the favorite for the top spot in Senate leadership, losing to Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg. Fulcher rebounded the following year when GOP Caucus Chairman John McGee resigned in a sexual harassment scandal, allowing Fulcher to recapture his caucus chairman post.

Fulcher’s entry in the race could make for a historic campaign. The last time an Idaho governor was defeated in his party primary was 1966, when three-term Gov. Bob Smylie lost to Sen. Don Samuelson.

Here’s the release:

Russ Fulcher to Announce Decision

Senator Russ Fulcher recently concluded his “Russ Fulcher Listens” tour throughout the State of Idaho, where he heard the concerns and counsel of so many hard working Idahoans including: Republican primary voters, grassroots organizers, and key community opinion-makers. After much prayerful consideration, Republican Senator Russ Fulcher has made a decision about a potential gubernatorial bid and will publicly announce his intentions.  He will make his announcement on Saturday, November 23, 2013 at the following locations and times:

10:00AM (MST) Meridian
Courtyard by Marriott
1789 S Eagle Rd
Meridian, ID 83642

11:45AM (Pacific) Coeur d’Alene
Resort Aviation
11101 Airport Drive
Hayden Lake, ID 83835

3:30PM (MST) Idaho Falls
Aeromark Aviation
2000 International Way
Idaho Falls, ID

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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Posted in Election Central, Idaho Politics