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’s 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, 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.
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.
Lori Jean Otter, first lady of Idaho, was born in Pensacola, Florida. When her father retired from the Navy, the family moved to Twin Falls, Idaho, and oversaw a family farm. The youngest of four children and the only girl, the future first lady became active in 4-H and Future Farmers of America. After graduating from Kimberly High School, she earned an associate’s degree in English literature from the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls and a bachelor’s degree in education and physical education from Boise State University.
Mrs. Otter spent 12 years as physical education and health teacher in Arizona and Idaho, where she also coached basketball and volleyball at the middle and high school levels. After earning a master’s degree in 2004 from Northwest Nazarene University in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on educational leadership, Mrs. Otter spent two years as a school administrator.
The first lady is a board member of the St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center Foundation, the Treasure Valley Reading Foundation, Idaho Governor’s Cup and the Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol Free Foundation. She also serves on the general advisory board for the International Orphans Project, which provides opportunities for Idaho schoolchildren to learn about and assist children in need around the world. Mrs. Otter also serves as summer reading ambassador for the Idaho Association of Libraries. She has written three children’s books, which educate fourth-graders about Idaho history. She serves with Governor Otter on the Idaho Meth Project Advisory Council and has worked to promote and launch the Idaho Meth Project, a campaign designed to reduce the first-time use of methamphetamines by youth in Idaho.
Mrs. Otter is an avid horseback rider and rodeo fan, raising and training horses on the Otters’ ranch in Star, Idaho. She has four stepchildren and six grandchildren.