Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

GOP Incumbents Fend Off Far-Right Challengers In Idaho

Office of the Governor

The Republican primaries, not the general election, are really where the action is in Idaho. And it was even more so this year because this was Gov. Butch Otter's first race since the Idaho GOP decided to close its primary.

Idaho's top Republican incumbents survived challenges from their more-conservative opponentslast night. Otter won his party's gubernatorial nomination by a little over 50 percent of the vote.

State Senator Russ Fulcher of Meridian campaigned in part against Otter's decision to set up a state-run health exchange in Idaho. Fulcher saw that as an endorsement of Obamacare. He also made Idaho's adoption of the Common Core education standards a central issue in his campaign.

Otter, having survived the challenge, now faces the Democratic candidate A.J. Balukoff in November.

In another closely watched race, incumbent Congressman Mike Simpson from eastern Idaho easily thwarted an attempt on his seat from Tea Party challenger Bryan Smith.

And for those who might have caught the clips that went viral from Idaho's rather colorful gubernatorial debate: Harley Brown, the biker, scooped up close to 5,000 votes. Walt Bayes, received more than 2,500.