Since I started blogging on the governor's race this weekend I have talked to conservative GOP Rep. Vito Barbieri on why hs constituents want to punish Idaho Gov. Butch Otter but are hesitant to vote for Democratic Boise businessman A.J. Balukoff.
Then I talked to former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brady about why he thinks Balukoff has a path to victory.
Today I covered Gov. Otter telling the Boise Rotary his economic development plan, which revolves around keeping state tax policy predictable, developing the state’s workforce through education, and “running at the speed of business” by having state agencies react quickly to business requests.
“I’m here to report we are in pretty good shape,” he told the Rotarians.
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His campaign also released this Topic Tuesday video answering why he’s running for a third term. I’m going to ask him why he think he deserves a third term, which is a high bar. His staff said he was too busy to answer at lunch but his campaign told me they would get him on the phone to me as scheduled. I’ll report on that soon.
I also got a call from Libertarian candidate John Bujak, who wanted to talk about his website: www.liberalotter.com, an apparent reference to the Idaho Prosperity Fund’s similar site about Balukoff. I’ll talk to him this week as well.
Monday I interviewed Balukoff for the first time. He answered my main question first: Is he prepared to do what it takes for a Democrat to win in Idaho?
“I’m all in,” Balukoff said.
He doesn’t think the state is in good shape after eight years of Otter’s leadership, especially its educational system, which is why the state has the second lowest per capita income in the nation.
“The economy is inexorably tied to the quality of our schools,” he said.