AP: Balukoff a former Republican

Balukoff
A.J. Balukoff

Three days after Idaho Democrats touted A.J. Balukoff as their party’s candidate for governor, here’s an interesting campaign tidbit from the Associated Press.

In 2008, when Walt Minnick successfully ousted Republican Rep. Bill Sali, Balukoff’s name appeared on a list of 60 “Republicans for Minnick.”

According to the AP, Balukoff didn’t vote in 2012 GOP’s primary election, which is now open only to registered Republicans.

Balukoff is a 16-year Boise School Board member, but that is a nonpartisan elected post. Balukoff has never run for any other political office.

The AP story comes after Republican Gov. Butch Otter and his main primary opponent, state Sen. Russ Fulcher, both threw jabs at Balukoff’s links to the party of President Obama. In response, Balukoff issued a statement Thursday, chiding Otter for playing the partisan card:

“I saw that Gov. Otter noticed our amazing campaign kickoff (thank you everyone for the great start). His spokesman immediately launched the same, tired, false partisan attack that makes Idahoans so frustrated with politics. I understand why they feel threatened, though: Our campaign is about bringing Idaho values like honesty, hard work, respect, fairness and financial responsibility back to the Statehouse.  More partisan attacks aren’t going improve our schools or help hard-pressed families make ends meet. We need a governor who will be independent enough to do the right thing, regardless of party. That’s how I have been able to get results as a businessman, an education leader and a community volunteer.”