Election Central

Fulcher converts website to exploratory campaign for guv, still no schedule

Idaho Senate Majority Caucus Chairman Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, has replaced his Senate campaign website with a Russ Fulcher for Governor Exploratory Committee site, headlined “Listening to You. Listening to Idaho.”

Fulcher is exploring a race against two-term Republican Gov. Butch Otter, focused on Otter’s decision to press lawmakers to adopt a state-run health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. Otter is one of only three Republican governors to oversee a state-run exchange. The others are in Nevada and New Mexico.

On Monday, Fulcher said he would post a schedule of his two-week “listening tour” on the website, “if not today, in the next day or two.” Fulcher said he plans to begin his tour next week to test support for a run against Otter, who has continuously held high office since 1987.

Rather than a schedule, Fulcher’s site has a sign-up tab to “get an agenda on where Russ will be.” The sign up requires a name, email and county of residence. I signed up about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday but didn’t immediately receive an emailed schedule. When a schedule becomes available, I’ll update readers.

The current site appears to be under construction, having removed statements from Fulcher and constituent services information for residents of his southwest Ada County legislative district.

The new site has a fresh photo of Fulcher superimposed over an agricultural valley-mountain scene and a map of southern Idaho. (Hat tip to anyone who can name the place; I don’t have a stash of Outdoor Idaho ballcaps like Pete and Roger.)

The text is four paragraphs:

For more than nine years, I have been honored to serve in the Idaho State Senate, representing the great people of the Treasure Valley.  As the Senate Republican Caucus Chairman, I have worked each and every day to foster economic growth, limit the size and scope of government, safeguard individual liberty and make Idaho the best place to live, work and raise a family. But before working in the Statehouse, I worked on our family dairy farm, then spent more than 20 years doing business across the country and internationally as a businessman in the technology industry.

As a husband, father of three and a fourth generation Idahoan, I’m deeply concerned about the direction of our state and country. Career politicians have let us down, and Idahoans deserve better. We need leaders who understand the challenges we face and demonstrate the commitment necessary to solve them. That’s why I’m honored that so many Idahoans have asked me to consider running for governor. I’m humbled by their faith in me, but I cannot make such an important decision without speaking with the people who matter most — Idahoans. Over the next two weeks, I will be traveling throughout the Gem State, talking with folks from every county and community to listen and learn what people want from their governor.

I hope you will sign up on this site, so we can let you know when we will be in your area.   With your help, I’ll be able to best determine if I am the right leader to guide Idaho onto a path of prosperity, end the overreach of government and preserve our state’s rich heritage.

Will you join us?


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