So who is that whirlwind out there, tirelessly campaigning from Bonners Ferry to Preston, from Parma to Lava Hot Springs?

It's none other than Gov. Cecil Andrus, the man heavily favored to win an unprecedented fourth term in November.Why is Andrus campaigning so hard, perhaps running the race of his career?

There are a lot of reasons, some political, some personal.

Anyone who knows Andrus knows him as a man proud of his accomplishments in a long career of public service. That's why he doesn't want to lose in his last political campaign.

So he isn't taking anything for granted, despite the fact almost nobody is talking about a possible upset by Republican challenger Roger Fairchild - except Fairchild.

In fact, Fairchild is such an underdog that most politicians are talking about his chances of getting more than 30 percent of the vote, not whether he can win.

But Andrus also was a heavy favorite four years ago, when polls showed him with a huge lead over Republican Lt. Gov. David Leroy. But Leroy never quit and by election day drew within a handful of votes of upsetting Andrus.

It wasn't until late in the night, when returns poured in from heavily Democratic areas of northern Idaho, that Andrus pulled out a 3,635-vote victory.

He doesn't want to take a chance on this, his last gubernatorial campaign. Andrus already has announced that if he wins, he will step down at the end of the next term. It also will give him a record tough to beat - 14 years in the governor's chair.

Andrus four years ago adopted a campaign tactic of basically ignoring Leroy. Again, this time it's different.

Whenever Fairchild has attacked the governor, Andrus has responded in kind, criticizing the Republican's 10-year Idaho Senate voting record or, at times, his personal life.

Besides that, Andrus is Idaho's chief executive. The office calls for many ceremonial and official appearances. That they also add to his election-year exposure is just one of the facts of life.

Andrus also hopes to help other Democrats to victory, and he's been campaigning hard for congressional candidate Larry LaRocco, attorney general hopeful Larry EchoHawk and others involved in close races.

The governor also would like to help his party erase the 23-19 advantage enjoyed by Republicans in the Senate, even though the Idaho House is out of reach.