Idaho Gov. Butch Otter doesn’t yet know who he will face in his 2014 re-election bid, but he’s confident enough to put other causes ahead of his own.
Otter pushed back against my recent observation that his campaign treasury lags behind the same point four years ago, saying he’s tapped his fundraising base for plenty of dough — just not so much for his own campaign.
“I have been raising money,” Otter told me yesterday after Lt. Gov. Brad Little’s announcement that he would join Otter in seeking re-election next year. “I raised almost $1 million for Students Come First, $1 million for the Governor’s Cup Scholarship, $400,000 for breast cancer.”
Campaign contributions come from the same pool, Otter said. “These are the same people that I’ve got to raise money from. It’s kind of difficult to go back to those same folks.”
After Otter filed his mid-year campaign finance report, I called the results “tepid” in an Aug. 1 blog post. Otter raised about $84,000 in the first six months of 2013, about 22 percent less than 2009. His spending (about $32,000) was down 64 percent over four years ago, though his cash on hand was up 10 percent to $129,000.
Democrat A.J. Balukoff is the only serious candidate to make any noise about challenging Otter, but has yet to make an announcement. If Balukoff shows some mettle or a legitimate primary challenger emerges, count on Otter to make another trip to the well.