The Final Death Throes of the Boise Swamp?
by Shari Dovale
Chad Christensen ran a very tough primary challenge to Rep. Tom Loertscher. It is extraordinarily difficult to unseat an incumbent committee chairman that has deep roots in the Boise swamp, yet Christensen came through and won the primary in May.
Character shows itself in many ways, including how you respond to contentious political election results. Christensen has shown much character to his credit and goes into the general election with that on his side.
The losing candidate from the May primary is Rep. Tom Loertscher from Iona. He has not taken the loss very well, and has decided to give it one more try through a write-in candidacy in the general election.
At the very least, it smacks of poor sportsmanship.
However, it is his right to run as an independent in the general election. Based on the rules for the GOP party, Christensen has the endorsement of the party as the winner of the May primary, therefore Loertscher cannot run as a member of the Republican party.
Governor Butch Otter, in the last days of his final term, has decided to throw his weight around and endorse the write-in candidacy of this independent, instead of backing his party’s candidate. This smacks of the final death throes of a sinking swamp.
Loertscher has been in elected office for decades. The voters made it clear in May that they wanted new blood. They voted for Christensen and expect their voice to be heard.
In his statement, Governor Otter suggested that not enough voters turned out for the primary, therefore ALL the voters did not have a say. I am sure that if the vote had gone the other way, Otter would be singing a very different tune. Otter does finally spell out his true intent when he says that Loertscher will be needed if his medicaid expansion plans get approved by the voters via Proposition 2, which is far from assured.
This is the epitome of the Boise Swamp. These power-hungry lame ducks need to learn when to walk away. This kind of cronyism no longer has a place in Idaho. Otter and Loertscher need to sit down, be quiet and retire.
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