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

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.

Members of the Idaho National Guard band played during the swearing in ceremonies of Idaho’s constitutional officers. Darren Svan/Idaho EdNews

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
Debbie Critchfield is formally sworn in as the 26th Superintendent of Public Instruction for Idaho.

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.

Spectators react during the swearing in ceremonies of Idaho’s seven statewide officers, who will serve four-year terms. Darren Svan/Idaho EdNews

Idaho Capital Sun is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Idaho Capital Sun maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Christina Lords for questions: [email protected]. Follow Idaho Capital Sun on Facebook and Twitter.

Clark Corbin, Idaho Capital Sun

Clark Corbin, Idaho Capital Sun

Clark Corbin has more than a decade of experience covering Idaho government and politics. He has covered every Idaho legislative session since 2011 gavel-to-gavel. Prior to joining the Idaho Capital Sun he reported for the Idaho Falls Post Register and Idaho Education News.

Get EdNews in your inbox

Weekly round up every Friday