TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — The first debate between candidates for governor of Idaho kicked off Wednesday evening without the incumbent, but nonetheless, he was the target of criticism throughout the event. Democratic candidate A.J. Balukoff faced off against Libertarian candidate John Bujak in Twin Falls. Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter declined to participate, but he has accepted debate invitations in other regions of the state in the upcoming weeks.

Both candidates spent time criticizing what they see as Otter's failure to improve Idaho's education system and economy. The two remained civil toward each other, though, and often declined to respond when given extra time for rebuttal.