In an announcement that was as much a surprise as the sun rising in the east, Meridian Republican Sen. Russ Fulcher told supporters Nov. 23 that he intends to become Idaho's next governor.
"After prayerful consideration and receiving enthusiastic encouragement and support of citizens from across the state, I have decided to run for governor," Fulcher repeated at three campaign stops—in Meridian, Coeur d'Alene and Idaho Falls—taking direct aim at incumbent Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, who has already indicated his desire for another term.
"This begins with reversing Gov. Otter's efforts to implement Obamacare here in Idaho, then providing a patient-powered alternative," said Fulcher. "Idaho needs a governor to stand up to President Obama, not voluntarily help him enforce his destructive politics in our own state."
Joining Fulcher at his Treasure Valley campaign stop were Meridian Republican Reps. Steven Harris and Jason Monks and Nampa Republican Rep. John Vander Woude.
The 50-year-old Fulcher, who pays the bills through his commercial real estate business, has had a high-profile tenure at the Idaho Statehouse since first being elected to the Senate in 2005.
Meanwhile, Otter has already lined up the first of what is expected to be a series of high-profile fundraisers. On Friday, Dec. 6, newly re-elected New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will share the stage with Otter in Coeur d'Alene, where $50 will allow donors in the room with the two and $1,000 gets supporters access to a VIP reception with Christie and Otter.