MERIDIAN, Idaho (KBOI & AP) - A conservative lawmaker from Meridian has announced he's running for governor of Idaho.
Senate GOP Caucus Chairman Russ Fulcher made the announcement Saturday and says one of his main priorities is to reverse implementing the Affordable Care Act in Idaho and replace it with what he calls a patient-powered alternative.
Fulcher in a statement says he's deeply concerned about the current direction of the state and disagrees with how Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has handled the state's response to President Barack Obama's health care law.
Other priorities in his four-point plan include gaining access to resources within Idaho's borders. He says 62 percent of that land is controlled by the federal government.
"We have timber, we have natural gas, we have minerals," Fulcher said. "It is a tremendous economic engine that's waiting to be switched on."
The announcement sets up the 51-year-old Fulcher to challenge the 71-year-old Otter in the May 2014 Republican primary.
Otter has yet to formally announce his campaign plans, but he's been raising money and telling supporters he intends to seek a third term.
Jayson Ronk, Otter's campaign manager, said the governor was on his trade mission in Russia. He released this one-sentence statement: "The governor has a campaign plan in place that we intend to execute."