Election Central

Fulcher urges year-end contributions to bolster credibility vs. Otter

Idaho Senate Majority Caucus Chairman Russ Fulcher is asking supporters to make his challenge to GOP Gov. Butch Otter look like a serious threat come late January.

Fulcher, R-Meridian, wrote supporters Friday, saying his year-end Sunshine Report “will be an important indicator of the level of Conservative grassroots support throughout the state for my campaign. By making a donation today, you commit to stand with me as I fight to resist federal control, put Idaho on the right track, and help our economy grow.”

Fulcher, sharpening his anti-establishment campaign, takes aim at Otter’s 27 uninterrupted years in high office, writing, “For decades, Idaho has had the same political operatives working the system. Now we are dealing with health care mandates, a lack of job opportunities, and federal intrusions that threaten our personal liberties.”

Fulcher’s annual report will show how his fundraising is going since he announced his challenge just before Thanksgiving. Though the commercial real estate salesman says he expects to be outspent by Otter, respect demands a good showing at the cash box at the start. Annual reports are due Jan. 31. The primary election is May 20.

Otter’s mid-year report was anything but splashy, with just $84,369 in fundraising in the first six months of 2013. Look for a better showing from Otter now that the race has taken shape.

With Fulcher and a serious Democrat, multimillionaire A.J. Balukoff, in the race, Otter’s spending will be in the neighborhood of $2 million. In 2010, without a serious primary challenge, Otter spent $1.8 million.


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