Bujak not among participants in Tuesday’s debate

Idaho’s Libertarian gubernatorial candidate John Bujak says it was unbelievable he did not meet the requirements to participate in the latest governor debate.

When contacted by The Associated Press Monday, Bujak said he didn’t know his name was not among the three candidates participating in Tuesday’s debate. But KTVB executive director Kate Morris said all of the possible debate candidates were notified of the qualifications when they were invited on May 28, including Bujak.

Currently, Republican Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, Democratic candidate A.J. Balukoff and Constitutional candidate Steve Pankey will face off at 8 p.m. in a debate hosted by KTVB.

Bujak says KTVB told him Monday that he needed to show proof that he raised $10,000 of campaign donations to qualify for the debate. But because Monday was Columbus Day, Bujak contended he couldn’t provide deposit slips until the next day.

According to his campaign finance report filed with the Secretary of State’s office, third-party contributions to Bujak’s campaign did not meet the qualification criteria.

According to campaign reports, Pankey also fell below the $10,000 mark as of Sept. 30, but he met another qualification to participate in the debate, having won more than 10 percent of the vote in a previous statewide race. Pankey unsuccessfully ran for lieutenant governor in 2010, and received about 13 percent of the vote in the primary.