A frequent candidate looks at governor’s race

UPDATED: Corrected, 10:48 a.m., to reflect that John Bujak is talking about running as an independent.

Harley Brown is a frequent — and frequently profane — fringe candidate, who has run for everything from Congress to Boise mayor to Ada County Highway District commissioner.

This time around, Brown is running for governor on the Republican ticket.

Brown can be described, charitably, as a colorful political figure. The former Navy Seabee says God has ordained that he will become president. Brown’s campaign website includes a link to a 1997 notarized statement to that effect, written by a Kenyan priest.

And that, says Brown, is why he’s running. “Since I believe that it is my God-given destiny to be the future president of the United States, I’m asking you to give me some desperately needed ‘governing practice’ in the little league,” Brown writes on his campaign website. “I ask that you vote, not primarily as Idahoans, but as AMERICANS and to please allow your future president to ‘cut his chief executive teeth’ first as the governor of Idaho.”

The rest of his campaign website is more or less what political observers have come to expect from Brown. There is a lengthy list of “Harleyisms,” short on political substance but long on off-color one-liners.

On his “Idaho issues” page, Brown calls for the creation of a state militia, launches into a lengthy criticism of the Department of Health and Welfare’s Child Protective Services division, and says little about the public education system that receives 47 percent of the general fund budget. “Our school children need to be more thoroughly taught about American history. More importantly, they need detailed information about the restrictions placed on government and the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.”

The Idaho Statesman’s Dan Popkey first wrote about Brown’s candidacy on his blog. Here’s a link to the post, which reprises Popkey’s description of Brown from his 2001 Boise mayor’s race: a ‘profane clown given to kookiness.’

To briefly recap, here’s how the race for governor shapes up.

Incumbent Butch Otter, says he plans to seek a third term, and Brown possible opposing him in the GOP primary. No Democrats have announced for the race, but longtime Boise School Board trustee AJ Balukoff has said he’s considering it. John Bujak, an embattled former Canyon County prosecutor, is looking at running as an independent.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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