LOS ANGELES—Boise School Board President A.J. Balukoff joined the 2014 Idaho governor’s race on Dec. 3, according to Idaho Ed News.

Balukoff, 67, made his campaign announcement Tuesday at Boise’s Hillcrest Elementary School.

The condition of Idaho schools will be the focus of the Democrat’s campaign.

He blamed the plight of Idaho schools on chronic underfunding, and 20 years of Republican one-party rule in the statehouse, according to the news report. Idaho’s per-pupil spending ranks No. 50 in the nation, surpassing only Utah, and the state’s college enrollment rate ranks among the lowest in the nation.

Balukoff’s political experience is limited to the Boise School Board. A certified public accountant, Balukoff also opened a chain of health clubs and was involved in the development of Downtown Boise’s Grove Hotel and CenturyLink Arena.

Incumbent C.L. “Butch” Otter, a Republican, has not formally announced his bid for a third term, but he has named a campaign manager.

Several Republicans also have indicated plans to challenge him.

Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, has formally announced plans to run against Otter in the May GOP primary.

Three other Republicans have filed paperwork naming campaign treasurers — a precursor to raising money and running for office: Walter Bayes of Emmett, Harley Brown of Nampa, and Steven Pankey of Shoshone, according to the news report.

Former Canyon County Prosecutor John Bujak has also filed preliminary campaign paperwork to run as an independent.

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