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BOISE — Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little has won the hotly contested GOP primary in the race to replace Republican Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter.

Little secured the nomination Tuesday against top opponents U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador and Boise businessman Tommy Ahlquist.

The gubernatorial seat became a top political race when Otter announced he wouldn’t seek a fourth term — marking the first time in 12 years the top statewide seat would be open.

The 64-year-old Little is a rancher and Idaho native who has spent the past 16 years in elected office. In 2009, Otter appointed Little to the number two position with the expectation that he would one day become the Republican governor’s successor.

Little is the grandson of the “sheep king of Idaho,” Andy Little, a Scotsman who came to Emmett in 1884 and built an empire with 100,000 sheep.

Democratic Nominee

Former state Rep. Paulette Jordan has won the Democratic primary for Idaho governor.

She is the first woman to become the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Idaho.

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If she wins the general election, Jordan would not only be the first woman to serve as Idaho governor but also the first Native American woman to serve in that position in any state.

The 38-year-old Jordan, who is a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, won Tuesday’s primary against 72-year-old Boise businessman A.J. Balukoff.

The last Native American to hold a statewide office in Idaho was in 1990, when Larry Echo Hawk ran as a Democrat for attorney general.

The open gubernatorial seat became a top political race when Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter announced he wouldn’t seek a fourth term.

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