Gov. Butch Otter officially filed his paperwork for a third term shortly before noon Monday, the first of 10 business days through March 14 for candidate filing.
Otter turned over his material in the office of Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, who is one of Otter’s two statewide campaign co-chairs.
“I think this is the first time I’ve ever filed with the chairman of my campaign,” Otter said after Ysursa took his paperwork.
“Well, you’re official,” replied Ysursa.
Otter has run for state and federal office 12 times, beginning in 1972, when he was elected to the Legislature from Canyon County. He also has served six years in Congress, 14 years as lieutenant governor and seven-plus years as governor.
Otter’s opponent in the May 20 Republican primary is Sen. Russ Fulcher of Meridian. The winner will face Democrat A.J. Balukoff in November. Unlike Fulcher and Balukoff, Otter hasn’t yet made a formal campaign tour to announce his re-election bid. Last week, Otter said he would do so soon.
Among the others filing before noon Monday was Phil McGrane, one of five candidates who are seeking to replace Ysursa, who is retiring after 12 years as Idaho’s chief election officer.
Ada County Chief Deputy Clerk Phil McGrane has vowed to follow the example of Ysursa, one of the most popular politicians of his era.
“I am excited to serve the people of Idaho as Secretary of State with the same high ethical standards as that of Ben Ysursa,” McGrane said. “I’ve been humbled by the support of Republicans throughout Idaho over the past few months and I will continue to be the hardest working candidate in this race. With my candidacy I seek to continue the mission of the Secretary of State’s office: to serve the citizens of Idaho by ensuring a trustworthy, impartial, transparent election process and to maintain the proper course in managing our state endowment lands in strict accordance with our constitution.”
The other Republicans who’ve said they’re running for secretary of state race are former Sen. Mitch Toryanski of Boise, who filed Monday morning; Rep. Lawerence Denney, R-Midvale; and former Sen. Evan Frasure of Pocatello. Democratic Rep. Holli Woodings of Boise also filed Monday.
“If the people are to retain control of their government, they must have access to truthful information,” Toryanski said in a press release announcing his filing. “Safeguarding freedom has been my professional calling for 34 years and is what I will do everyday for the citizens of Idaho as their secretary of state.”
Other early filers included Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Supreme Court Justices Joel Horton and Warren Jones, Controller Brandon Woolf, Speaker of the House Scott Bedke and Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill.