State Politics

Gov. Otter’s schedule still depends on his health. Today, he was up to an office visit.

This photo of Gov. Butch Otter visiting his office was posted to his official Facebook and Twitter accounts Wednesday afternoon.
This photo of Gov. Butch Otter visiting his office was posted to his official Facebook and Twitter accounts Wednesday afternoon.

After being sidelined for more than a month following two back surgeries and a post-surgery infection, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter paid a visit to the Capitol on Wednesday to get some work done.

“Good to be back in the office,” Otter said on Twitter Wednesday afternoon. “Thank you for your thoughts and prayers as I continue to recover from back surgery. I am truly blessed.”

Comments on his Twitter and Facebook accounts were accompanied by a photo of him at his desk.

“The ongoing support I received has been very moving and is the reason I am back working so soon,” he said on Facebook.

Otter, 75, was released from the hospital July 27 following two surgeries to address a ruptured disk in his back and a subsequent infection that developed after the second surgery. He first underwent surgery on July 7 to treat a bulging disk, and he returned to the hospital on July 14 for another surgery to address the same disk. The day he was released from the hospital after the second surgery, his fever spiked and he was readmitted.

Otter has been working from home since his release from the hospital two weeks ago. It’s been the longest stint that surgery or illness have kept him out of the office; hip surgeries in 2008 and 2015 each required two to three weeks of recovery at home.

The situation has prompted Otter to delay interviews of possible candidates for an open seat on the Idaho Supreme Court, the Associated Press reported Wednesday. While out, he has appointed a new member to the state Board of Parks and Recreation and put out a statement on an Idaho Supreme Court ruling regarding his veto of a bill ending sales tax on groceries.

Otter’s spokesman, Jon Hanian, said it is not yet known when Otter will return full-time to the Capitol.

“His schedule depends on how he is feeling and his doctors,” Hanian said.

Cynthia Sewell: 208-377-6428, @CynthiaSewell

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