Election Central

Fulcher on Otter’s GOP Who’s Who: Insiders advancing their own ‘oppressive’ agenda

Gov. Butch Otter’s list of 30 campaign co-chairs — which includes the Legislature’s four top leaders, Secretary of State Ben Ysursa and former Lt. Gov. Jack Riggs — is a collection of “the same people who have been on the ‘inside’ advancing their own agenda for years,” says Otter’s GOP primary challenger, Senate Majority Caucus Chairman Russ Fulcher.

“Idaho needs a new direction, a new vision – one that uplifts the people of our great state from the oppressive actions of government,” Fulcher said in a news release.

Fulcher, of Meridian, said he knew his challenge “would be a threat to the status quo. I believe that threat is necessary, and I think change is necessary. Those in power don’t like change.”

Otter announced statewide, legislative and regional co-chairs Friday. (I didn’t receive the release until I asked for it today).

Otter’s Feb. 21 release:

GOVERNOR OTTER ANNOUNCES CAMPAIGN ORGANIZATION

(BOISE) – Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter today announced the statewide organization in his campaign for re-election, including Secretary of State Ben Ysursa and the leaders of both the Idaho House of Representatives and Idaho Senate.

“I am proud to have the support of such a solid group of conservative leaders from throughout Idaho,” Governor Otter said. “Their confidence in my ability to lead Idaho is a strong sign that we’re moving the campaign and our great state in the right direction.”

Positions announced today include:

          Campaign Co-Chairs

·         Freda Cenarrusa

·         Secretary of State Ben Ysursa

Legislative Leadership Co-Chairs

·         House Speaker Scott Bedke

·         House Majority Leader Mike Moyle

·         Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill

·         Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis

·         Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder

Regional Campaign Co-Chairs

·         Region 1 – Todd Brinkmeyer, Julie Chadderdon, Darrell Kerby, Sandy Patano, Jack Riggs

·         Region 2 – Brett Bennett, Frank Dammarell

·         Region 3 – Nancy Baxter, Sandra Mitchell, Skip Smyser

·         Region 4 – Debbie Field, Jeff Malmen, Cheryl Miller, Eva Gay Yost

·         Region 5 – Bob Naerebout, Marty Orwig, Con Paulos

·         Region 6 – Trent Clark, Craig Parrish, Mark Harris

·         Region 7 – Marsha Bjornn, Richard Larsen, Cortney Liddiard, Damond Watkins

The campaign co-chairs, legislative leadership co-chairs and regional co-chairs, along with numerous volunteers throughout Idaho, are committed to driving grassroots support for the Governor’s re-election.

“The Governor has not only been a friend to Penny and me for many years, but a great friend to Idaho as well,” said Secretary of State Ben Ysursa. “In so many areas Idaho is a model for the nation as a result of the business principles the Governor has brought to our state government.”

“I have great respect for the Governor and the strong leadership he has demonstrated for our state during some of the most challenging times in recent history,” said Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill. “He holds firm to his values, is a man of integrity, and responsibly advances the conservative principles that so many Idahoans hold dear.”

“Over the past seven years, no one has worked harder for this state and its citizens,” said House Speaker Scott Bedke. “From growing our state’s economy to protecting Idaho’s natural resources, Governor Otter has made the tough decisions needed to propel our state forward.

Fulcher’s reaction, also Feb. 21:

A New Direction for Idaho

When I decided to challenge a sitting Governor with a 40 year political history from the same political party, I knew it would be a threat to the status quo. I believe that threat is necessary, and I think change is necessary.  Those in power don’t like change.

As expected, many people in leadership roles have lined-up behind the Governor to try to protect their status. But one thing is missing from the Governor’s backers…and that is anyone new. The Governor’s backers are the same people who have been on the “inside” advancing their own agenda for years. Where are the common citizens who are not connected to the political machine? I‘ll tell you where…they are stepping forward in increasing numbers to support an alternative to the status quo – Russ Fulcher for Governor.

Idaho needs a new direction, a new vision – one that uplifts the people of our great state from the oppressive actions of government.  We will advance our society only by empowering our people.

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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