C.L. "Butch" Otter (R)

Thursday, November 9, 2006

Rep. C.L. "Butch" Otter, handsome, rowdy and rodeo-loving, is Idaho's new Republican governor. The 64-year-old millionaire and three-term congressman said during the campaign that he decided to run for governor because "I wasn't getting anywhere back there" in Washington, D.C.

Otter, who briefly studied for the priesthood and made his fortune after marrying (and then divorcing) the daughter of Boise billionaire J.R. Simplot, had a slow campaign start in the Republican-dominated state. It was his choice -- he waited until after Labor Day to start active campaigning.

But his personal appeal and his party's overwhelming strength in Idaho carried the election over Democrat Jerry Brady, a lawyer whose family owns an Idaho newspaper. Otter has often said that his guiding philosophy toward the federal government's role in Idaho was for it to "butt out."

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