Idaho Guv’s Office ‘Blindsided’

By Ed O'Keefe

Aug 27, 2007 6:59pm

ABC News Teddy Davis Reports: As an incumbent senator in a reliably Republican state, Sen. Larry Craig was a shoo-in for re-election to a fourth term.

The Democrat running against him — former Congressman Larry LaRocco — had not raised much money and was not given much of a chance by independent political handicappers.

In the wake of Monday’s Roll Call story which reported Craig’s arrest in connection with lewd conduct, Democrats are giddy about the prospect of putting the reddest of Red States in play.

"We were blindsided by this," said an aide to Idaho’s Republican Governor Butch Otter who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

If Sen. Craig were to resign, Otter would be responsible for naming a replacement.

According to the Idaho Secretary of State’s office, the replacement would serve until the next election (and would be free to run in that election).  The state’s primary is scheduled in Idaho for May 27, 2008 and the filing period to run for Senate is between March 10-21, 2008.

If the governor wants to name himself as a replacement, there would be nothing barring him from doing so under Idaho law. The state’s independently elected Republican lieutenant governor would simply assume the duties of governor.

For now, Otter’s staff is just coming to grips with the Craig allegations.

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