Russ Fulcher

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Former state senator Russ Fulcher of Meridian is bowing out of the race for governor and pursuing a run for Congress.

After spending the last nine months running to replace Governor Butch Otter, Fulcher now has his sights set on filling Raul Labrador’s shoes in Washington D.C. The five-term Republican lawmaker released a video online making the announcement.

vote, election
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Northwest Nazarene University Political Scientist Steve Shaw is among those captivated by the presidential race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. But he thinks their campaign will have little, if any, effect on races for Senate, the U.S. House, the state Supreme Court or a constitutional amendment in Idaho.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Gov. C.L. 'Butch' Otter won his Republican primary Tuesday night, making him the first GOP governor since 1962 to win his party’s nomination three times in a row. Otter's victory wasn't a landslide, his main primary opponent, state Sen. Russ Fulcher, gave the longtime Republican politician a run for his money.

With all but three of Idaho's precincts reporting, Otter won just over 51 percent of the vote, and lost major counties like Ada and Kootenai to Fulcher.

Butch Otter
Idaho Statesman

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter barely cinched the GOP gubernatorial nomination, winning about 52 percent of the vote in Tuesday's primary.

Otter will face Democrat A.J. Balukoff in November as he bids for a third term in office.

The GOP gubernatorial race was tight, with tea party favorite Sen. Russ Fulcher lagging by only about 13,000 votes with 92 percent of precincts reporting very early Wednesday morning. But the governor left the GOP celebration in Boise early, without making a statement and before the race had been called.

vote, election
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

WHAT'S AT STAKE? In Idaho, the primary election is often the most fiercely fought contest between candidates. The winners of the GOP primary almost always go on to win in November as they usually don't face serious opposition from Democrats.

Courtesy Aaron Kunz

Idaho Public Television host Melissa Davlin says she doesn’t blame Idaho’s governor for insisting that long-shot candidates Harley Brown and Walt Bayes be invited to participate in this week’s GOP gubernatorial debate.

Jim Hadley / Idaho Public Television

Four candidates vying for the Idaho GOP gubernatorial nomination faced off Wednesday evening in their only scheduled debate, tackling the economy, state control of federal lands and the Affordable Health Care Act.

Two-term Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is challenged by Sen. Russ Fulcher, Walt Bayes and Harley Brown.

During the Idaho Public Television debate, Brown colorfully described the group as a cowboy, a curmudgeon, a biker and a normal guy, referring to Otter, Bayes, himself and Fulcher respectively.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho GOP gubernatorial candidate Russ Fulcher is the latest nominee to secure an endorsement from U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador.

The Idaho congressman announced Monday he would support Fulcher, who is hoping to unseat two-term Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter. This is the third endorsement Labrador has made in Idaho's primary statewide election race. He's also endorsed Todd Hatfield, who is challenging incumbent state Controller Brandon Woolf, and state Rep. Lawerence Denney, who is running for Secretary of State.

Butch Otter
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter says no matter what, the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare as it's known, was coming to Idaho.  

“Because if we hadn’t [have] established our own state exchange, we would have had Obamacare in Idaho,” he says. “We didn’t have a choice. We were going to have an exchange in Idaho. We were going to have the Obamacare exchange in Idaho or we were gonna have [an]  Idaho exchange in Idaho.”

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Russ Fulcher says incumbent Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter no longer represents the heart of Idaho's Republican Party.  

Fulcher, a state senator from Meridian, has been on the campaign trail since late November spreading that message. He’s the tea party candidate trying to unseat a longtime cowboy politician he says has a political “machine” behind him.

Idaho Legislators Will Retain Special Gun Privileges

Mar 11, 2014
capitol, statehouse, idaho
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

An Idaho Senate panel has killed legislation that would have removed a special privilege for state elected officials to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

Among the leading advocates of killing the House-passed bill was Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, who is running for governor.

“My vote will not be to willingly give up the privilege that our predecessors granted,” said Fulcher. “We do not need to relinquish our privileges.”

Butch Otter
Idaho Statesman

Idaho Republican Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter is officially running for a third term.

Otter filed his declaration of candidacy Monday with the Secretary of State's Office.

In a statement, Otter says he wants to continue to make Idaho the best place in America to live, work and raise a family.

The former congressman has been widely expected to seek re-election.

food, groceries, store
Qmnonic / Flickr Creative Commons

Republican lawmakers including Sen. Russ Fulcher aim to eliminate Idaho's 6 percent tax on groceries starting July 1, 2016.

Fulcher, a Meridian Republican running against Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter in the May primary, and Boise Sen. Cliff Bayer are promoting the proposed legislation.

Currently, Idaho gives nearly all its residents a credit when they file their annual tax returns, to offset surcharges they pay on groceries.

This tax credit has been expanded since legislation passed in 2009.

Come next year, it's due to be $100 for everyone, and $120 for seniors.

Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

Republican gubernatorial candidate Russ Fulcher released his latest campaign finance report Friday. The report shows Fulcher raised $251,642 last year, $100,000 of which he personally loaned to his campaign.

Fulcher is currently a state senator in the Idaho Legislature. He's running against fellow Republican Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter in the May primary.

DonkeyHotey / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter said he has more than $700,000 in cash to wage a campaign against his Republican primary challenger, state Sen. Russ Fulcher.

Otter filed his latest campaign report Tuesday, outlining his 2013 fundraising when he brought in $901,000, largely from business groups.

Fulcher hasn't filed his report.

Meanwhile, Otter hasn't formally announced he's running for a third term.

Among Otter's biggest supporters were trucking lobbyists, cigarette maker Altria, retailer Wal-Mart and wealthy Emmett rancher Harry Bettis, who gave $7,500.

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