The second-place finisher in Tuesday’s Republican primary for governor won’t be throwing his support behind Gov. Butch Otter or any other gubernatorial candidate this November. Former elk rancher Rex Rammell of Idaho Falls said the state’s economy will deteriorate with Otter in charge.
“I think he’s the worst thing that’s happened to Idaho in a long time,” Rammell told IdahoReporter.com. “I don’t support Keith Allred or any of them. I don’t think there’s one of them with an intelligent idea in their head, and consequently I think Idaho is going to suffer tremendously beginning in these next few months.”
Rammell received 26 percent of the GOP vote for governor. Many GOP candidates gathered in Boise the day after the primaries to offer a unified party message, including Rammell’s fellow challenger, Ada County Commissioner Sharon Ullman, but Rammell wasn’t part of the event. He said he expects the state will be worse off by not following through with his plan to lower personal and corporate income taxes and raise the state sales tax.
He said he’s upset with Idaho voters for their decisions in his race and other Republican primaries where incumbents fared well. “Idaho hasn’t suffered enough,” he said. “Until they learn their lesson and elect new people with some integrity, they will continue to suffer and rightly so.” In addition to his criticism of Otter, Rammell called Rep. Mike Simpson pathetic.
Before the primary, Rammell had said that if he lost, he wouldn’t seek elected office. He said Thursday that he currently has no plans to run in the future or campaign for candidates in the general election. He also said he wasn’t happy coming in second on Tuesday. “I was hopeful that we would win it,” he said. “It wasn’t as many votes as I wanted, but it wasn’t too bad a showing, I guess. Most of Idaho didn’t think I could win. We were running on a shoestring budget, and I think we did pretty well with not having much support financially.”