- Associated Press - Thursday, December 15, 2016

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter says he is being considered as a possible candidate for agriculture secretary.

Otter spokesman Jon Hanian confirmed Thursday the Republican governor is currently being vetted by President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team. Hanian added that he did not have any further information about other candidates or a timeframe about when a decision would be made.

Otter later told the Times-News while at a ribbon cutting ceremony in Twin Falls on Thursday that Trump’s team asked him to submit a list of his top three positions. Otter says they were interior secretary, agriculture secretary and head of the International Trade Administration.

“We’re at door number two right now,” Otter said.

Otter, 74, a former president for potato giant Simplot International, was a late Trump supporter during the presidential campaign. The libertarian-leaning Republican originally endorsed Ohio Gov. John Kasich, but he became Trump’s Idaho honorary campaign chairman several months before Election Day.

If selected, Otter would be the first agriculture secretary to be chosen from Idaho. The Gem State has a history of being home to interior secretaries, but Trump’s transition team has selected Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke to fill that position.

Otter was elected to a third term as governor in 2014 and has previously said that he would not run for a fourth term. He was lieutenant governor for 14 years before being elected to Congress in 2000.

In November, Otter told the Idaho Statesman that he spoke to Vice President-elect Mike Pence while traveling in Washington, D.C. The two were freshmen congressmen in 2001. However, Otter declined to answer questions about what their conversation was about and if he was being considered for a position inside Trump’s administration.

Lt. Gov. Brad Little would take over as governor if Otter left the post before the end of his term. Little, who was appointed by Otter to the position in 2009, announced earlier this year that he would be running for the top elected seat in 2018.

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