Local Politics

Tea party could make race tougher for Butch Otter

BOISE, Idaho - Idaho's red state roots haven't faded, but political infighting inside its Republican Party has left many feeling disenfranchised with the so-called traditional GOP candidates who will appear on this year's election ballot.

Tea party voters, who showed to be a powerful voting bloc in the May GOP primary election, are threatening to stay home or vote for a Democratic candidate rather than vote for the Republican.

This means Gov. Butch Otter, who is seeking a third-term, could face a tighter race against Democratic challenger A.J. Balukoff, a millionaire who has said he'll spend as much as he needs to win.

Otter's campaign says the GOP factions won't influence the election. But Balukoff's team says they're expecting more support because of the growing number of people upset over Otter's leadership.