BOISE -- With a little more than two weeks until the primary elections, races are heating up. Some candidates are getting their messages out through debates, but not every candidate.
Most notably, Gov. Butch Otter only has one debate officially planned. His strongest challenger in the Republican primary is Sen. Russ Fulcher. Fulcher seemingly can't wait to debate, but has only been able to face Harley Brown and Walter Bayes so far, not the incumbent governor.
Otter declined to participate in a KTVB sponsored debate, which had been planned for later this month.
KTVB political analyst Dr. Jim Weatherby says, that's not surprising.
Often the incumbents don't want to share the stage with their opponent, said Weatherby. Incumbents are well-known and typically well-financed, and they don't want to give their opponent free air time by appearing on a debate.
Meanwhile, in the race for State Superintendent, there is no incumbent, so the candidates aren't shying away from debates. The Democratic Party already has their candidate in Jana Jones, while four candidates are vying for the Republican nomination: John Eynon, Andrew Grover, Randy Jensen, and Sherri Ybarra.
On the Republican side, are four novices, as far as I know, said Weatherby. They have not run for any elected position before, are not well-known around the state, are having difficulty, I'm sure, getting their message out. They'll participate in debates.
Weatherby says that race is wide open, along with the Republican Primary for Secretary of State.
Again, there is no incumbent, and Holli Woodings is the sole Democrat in the race.But the four Republicans vying for this nomination have years of political experience: former Speaker of the House Lawerence Denney, former state senator Mitch Toryanski, Chief Deputy to the Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane, and former lawmaker from Pocatello, Evan Frasure.
Frasure is the only candidate not from the western side of the state.
So, we'll see in this sectional state how that kind of strategy might work out, said Weatherby. But, in the endorsement race, McGrane has done very well, with the endorsement of Ben Ysursa, the sitting Secretary of State, and former Governor Phil Batt.
The primary elections are May 20th.