Longtime Boise school trustee A.J. Balukoff took a step closer to another gubernatorial run Thursday.
Balukoff, a Democrat, filed paperwork with the secretary of state’s office that would allow him to begin raising money for a gubernatorial campaign, Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review reported Thursday.
Balukoff is looking at entering a wide-open race to succeed retiring Gov. Butch Otter. Three big-name Republicans — Boise developer and physician Tommy Ahlquist, U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador and Lt. Gov. Brad Little — are vying for their party’s nomination in the May primary.
“I think people need a choice besides what’s going on on the Republican side,” Balukoff told Russell. “We need to talk about the issues. … And when there’s not an incumbent, there ought to be a better chance for someone, right?”
Balukoff says he will formally launch his campaign after the holiday season.
Balukoff was the Democrats’ gubernatorial nominee in 2014, receiving 38.6 percent of the statewide vote and losing to Otter by close to 66,000 votes. The accountant and businessman spent more than $4 million on the 2014 campaign, with nearly $3.6 million coming from his own pocket.
More reading: Go to Idaho Education News’ election page to read our interviews with Ahlquist, Labrador and Little. And check back for more coverage as the campaign unfolds and new candidates jump into the state’s high-profile races.