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What You Should Know About Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter

Butch Otter
State of Idaho
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What You Should Know About Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter

C.L. “Butch” Otter has been a fixture of Idaho politics since 1973 when he was elected to his first term in the state House of Representatives.

Otter was elected to his third-consecutive term as governor on Nov. 4, 2014. He was elected to his second term as Idaho governor on Nov. 2, 2010. Otter first became Idaho's governor on Nov. 7, 2006.

Gov. Otter was at the helm during the peak of the Great Recession and it was his administration that oversaw the cutting of the state budget, record unemployment, and a boom in the number of people using government assistance.

Otter spoke with StateImpact Idaho back in 2012 about that recession and its lasting impact on Idaho's workforce.

A Brief Biography

Otter, a Republican, is the longest serving lieutenant governor of Idaho, his tenure spanned from 1987-2000. In 2000 he was then elected to the United States Congress and served until 2006.

According to the Washington Post, Otter voted with his party most of the time, 86 percent, but has been known to have an independent streak on some issues.

“He was among three Republicans in the House to vote against the USA Patriot Act in 2001 and he later sponsored a bill to repeal parts of it. But independent streaks are sometimes tolerated in a state that would rather not be told what to do by the federal government.” - William Yardley, New York Times
Otter was born on May 3, 1942 in Caldwell, Idaho. He attended St. Teresa’s Academy in Boise and graduated from Boise Junior College (now Boise State University) with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1967.

After college, Otter joined the Idaho National Guard and served in the 116th Armored Calvary until 1973.

Butch Otter is married to his second wife, Lori. He has four children and several grandchildren.