C. L. "Butch" Otter was born in Caldwell, Idaho on May 3, 1942. He graduated from St. Teresa's Academy (now Bishop Kelly High School) in Boise, attended Boise Junior College (now Boise State University), and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the College of Idaho in 1967.

Otter served honorably in the Idaho Army National Guard's 116th Armored Cavalry from 1968 to 1973, and later was awarded honorary doctorates from Mindanao State University in the Philippines and the College of Idaho in Caldwell.

Otter's 30-year career in business included membership on the Board of Directors of the J.R. Simplot Company. He also served as Director of the Food Products Division, President of Simplot Livestock, and President of Simplot International.

Otter served four terms as Idaho's Lieutenant Governor - longer than anyone in Idaho history. He previously represented the people of Canyon County in the Idaho House of Representatives for two terms (1973-1976), was on the Idaho Republican Party Central Committee and was Chairman of the Canyon County Republican Party. He served three terms in Congress representing Idaho's 1st District (2000-2006).

Otter is a father of four and grandfather of five. He is married to the former Lori Easley. They live on their ranch near Star.