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For the week of November 15 through 21, 2000

Unlikely in Idaho?

What the heck: if Florida can tie the nation in knots with political suspense, why not a little suspense in Idaho?

Consider this series of possible events:

Idaho Lt. Governor C.L. (Butch) Otter is elected to succeed the retiring Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage in the U.S. House of Representatives commencing in January.

Now by law, Gov. Dirk Kempthorne must name a successor to Otter, and Kempthorne has a list of Republican friends from which to pick.

But what if--a big "what if?"--Texas Gov. George W. Bush is declared winner of the presidential race, and Idaho’s Kempthorne, who campaigned for Bush, is asked by Bush to immediately go to Washington as an appointee-in-waiting to form a new administration?

Suddenly, the governor’s office could also have a vacancy--which Otter said in several recent interviews he just might find more attractive than going to Washington as a congressman for two years.

In which case (if this suspense scenario developed) Otter, the three-time part-time lieutenant governor, could become governor and then be in a position to appoint his successor as lieutenant governor, then call a special election to pick his successor as the abdicating member of Congress.


Much too unlikely, and far too complicated to ever happen.

It is too, complicated, right?


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