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BOISE -- The votes are in and winning candidates throughout the state spent the day celebrating.

In case you missed it, Gov. Butch Otter won the Republican vote with 51 percent.

But, as he makes a run at his third term, he's now coping with a close finish in the primary.

Otter did not speak publically last night because he said the race was simply too close.

He was waiting on the results from Kootenai County early this morning. And although he ended up losing in Idaho's three largest counties, he still pulled off a victory.

Otter addressed his supporters Wednesday morning, speaking as the GOP candidate.

But I stand before you today very humble and grateful, and honored, I'm humbled because of all the great support I had, said Otter.

But the support didn't come from several big counties. Otter lost to state Sen. Russ Fulcher in Ada, Canyon and Kootenai counties. But said he wasn't surprised.

Not really, not really, this is where most of the action took place, was right here in the valley, said Otter.

Otter won by nearly 12,000 votes.

I was concerned it was close, Russ was a good campaigner, has a lot of talent and has a lot of enthusiasm, said Otter.

Of course you always want to win, but I've got a good faith base and I believe that everything happens for a reason, so that means there's something else I'm suppossed to go do, and I'm going to go do it, said Fulcher.

But Fulcher says the close race was a sign that the Republican Party is shifting.

Political analyst Dr. Jim Weatherby says the close race is noteworthy.

It does point out that significant blocks of voters are dissatisfied with the current direction this administration is going, perhaps in terms of economic development and jobs, said Weatherby.

As for Otter, he's now turning his attention to his campaign in Novermber against Democratic challenger A.J. Balukoff.

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