Longtime Idaho Senate staffer Layne Bangerter has been named Trump for President’s state campaign director for Idaho, while Gov. Butch Otter and First Lady Lori Otter will serve as honorary chairs, according to a campaign release.
Bangerter served as a delegate for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention in July and has worked for U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo (who has, at times, openly criticized Trump) for over a decade.
“I'm really pleased that Donald Trump has had the wisdom to hire Layne to keep us all laser-focused on the task at hand; to defeat Hillary Clinton this November. Lori and I know and respect Governor and Mrs. Pence and you cannot find a better fit than the Trump-Pence ticket,” said Gov. Otter in the release.
The Idaho Trump for President campaign also hired Rod Beck, Idaho State Senator Majority Leader, as chairman; former U.S. Senate staffer and Boise lobbyist Patrick Sullivan as co-chairman; Rachel Kelley as finance chair; and Sandra Mitchell, executive director of the Idaho Recreation Council, as part of its communication team.
Though Gov. Otter originally supported Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the primary, he indicated early on that he would support “whoever gets the nomination,” adding that he would advise Trump to “soften up” his demeanor and be more definitive in his claims.
Bangerter also offered advice to Trump at the RNC, saying the businessman will have to learn about Western issues like federal land ownership
Trump polled second in Idaho’s March primary, though almost 20 percentage points behind frontrunner Ted Cruz, who later suspended his campaign. Still, Bangerter in the press release said he’s convinced Trump will trounce Democrat Hillary Clinton in Idaho.
“With county and regional coordinators we have an energized, tireless and effective team here in Idaho. Mr. Trump will win big here, very big on November 8th but we will have no days off until then,” Bangerter said in the release. “We have over 8,000 volunteers ready to work the phones in Idaho and throughout America. We will have fair booths and signs going up everywhere and we will also send volunteers from Idaho to anywhere needed to help Mr. Trump in key battleground states.”
Nicole Blanchard: (208) 377-6410; @NMBlanchard