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Idaho Gov. Brad Little sworn in for second term during inauguration

Idaho Inauguration
Otto Kitsinger
/
Idaho Gov. Brad Little about to give a speech after being sworn in for his second term on the steps of the State Capitol building on January 6, 2023. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)

Each of Idaho’s statewide officers took public oaths of office Friday in front of the Idaho State Capitol in Boise

Idaho Gov. Brad Little pledged to lead his second term of office with integrity, civility and humility during public inauguration ceremonies Friday on the steps of the Idaho State Capitol in Boise.

A rancher and a Republican from Emmett, Little took a public oath of office and was ceremonially sworn in in front of a crowd of state officials and a couple hundred onlookers Friday.

“What we do here is far more important than any one of us,” Little said. “The work we do here will outlive us. With that in mind, I want to sincerely thank the people of Idaho, to know that in my second term I will lead with integrity, civility, humility, always putting Idaho first.”

During the 6-and-a-half minute inaugural address, Little spoke of his love for Idaho and his belief in the goodness of its people. He thanked Idaho’s four most recent previous governors — Phil Batt, Dirk Kempthorne, U.S. Sen. Jim Risch and Butch Otter — saying his job is to learn from them and to put the state first. Kempthorne, Risch and Otter attended the inauguration ceremony in person.

Although he gave a shout-out to Idaho’s four living previous governors and spoke of the importance of public education, Little’s speech was generally light on politics and heavy on state pride and gratitude. Little is expected to deliver a more political and policy laden speech at 1 p.m. Monday with his State of the State address, which will highlight the first day of the 2023 legislative session.

Little is Idaho’s 33rd governor, having been first elected governor in 2018. Previously, Little was appointed to fill vacancy in the Idaho Senate in 2001, and was elected lieutenant governor in 2009.

As part of the ceremony, Little and first lady Teresa Little delivered speeches. The Littles were accompanied to the ceremony by their two adult sons.

In her speech, Teresa Little held up a candle, which she said represents the light present in everyone.

“The miracle is, our own light is never diminished by sharing,” Teresa Little said, before acknowledging Idaho’s “Capitol of Light.”

In addition, each of Idaho’s statewide constitutional officers also participated in a public swearing in ceremony Friday. Those officials include:

  • Lt. Gov. Scott Bedke
  • Attorney General Raúl Labrador
  • Secretary of State Phil McGrane
  • Treasurer Julie Ellsworth
  • Controller Brandon Woolf
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction Debbie Critchfield 

The oaths of office each of the officials took Friday was ceremonial. Under the Idaho Constitution, the term of office for statewide executive officers begins on the first Monday of January following an election. Each of the officers had officially been sworn in previously in private. For instance, Critchfield was sworn in at her Cassia County home on Monday, according to the State Department of Education.

Friday’s inauguration included musical performances by the 25th Army Band-Idaho National Guard, singing by Rebecca Pearce and Idaho Army National Guard 2nd Lt. Rodrigo Cortes and a 19-cannon salute, which echoed throughout downtown Boise and is commonly used during inaugural ceremonies and to recognize dignitaries or elected officials.

Each of Idaho’s statewide elected officials serves a four-year term, and the next election for those positions will occur in 2026. The 2023 legislative session begins Monday at noon at the Idaho State Capitol.

Little’s State of the State address will be streamed live online and broadcast live on Idaho Public Television at 1 p.m. Monday.

The Idaho Capital Sun is a nonprofit news organization delivering accountability reporting on state government, politics and policy in the Gem state.