Gov.-elect Brad Little pledged to work tirelessly on behalf of Idaho’s children during his inaugural address Friday afternoon on the Statehouse steps.
During ceremonies before a crowd of hundreds of people lining Jefferson Street, Little was publicly sworn in as Idaho’s 33rdgovernor.
Little and incoming Idaho First Lady Teresa Little both delivered short speeches touching on Idaho’s history, their commitment to children and the value of education.
“Our state’s commitment to education goes back to the Constitution,” Little said. “Since statehood, every Idaho child has been promised a uniform, thorough and free public education.
“As governor, I will work to live up to the promise we made at statehood,” he continued.
Friday’s ceremonies took place on the south steps of the Statehouse and lasted 52 minutes. In additional to Little’s ceremonial swearing in, Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra was publicly sworn in for her second, four-year term. Ybarra was joined by her husband, Matthew.
Additionally, Lt. Gov.-elect Janice McGeachin, Treasurer-elect Julie Ellsworth, State Controller Brandon Woolf, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney all took the oath of office.
Ceremonies also included an aircraft flyover and a 19-gun salute courtesy of the Idaho Military History Museum and VFW Post 63, using 75 mm Howitzers.
In his inaugural address, Little, R-Emmett, pledged to employ “the lightest possible hand of government.”
“That means making all decisions through one lens — the lens of ensuring the best possible opportunity for us, our children and grandchildren to remain in Idaho, to thrive and enjoy our unparalleled quality of life,” Little said.
All of Idaho’s living former governors attended Friday’s ceremonies — former Gov. Phil Batt, former Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, U.S. Sen. Jim Risch and outgoing Gov. Butch Otter.
A rancher by trade and the son of the late State Sen. David Little, Brad Little began his political career when he was appointed to the state senate in 2001. In 2009, Otter appointed Little to serve as lieutenant governor to fill out the remainder of the term held by Risch, who had been elected to the U.S. Senate.
In November, Little was elected governor after earning nearly 60 percent of the votes cast.
Friday’s public inauguration events were ceremonial. Little is set to be sworn in officially during private ceremonies Monday. Idaho’s Constitution states the governor’s term begins on the first Monday in January.
Little will also help open the 2019 legislative session and layout his policy initiatives on Monday via his 1 p.m. State of the State address.
Check back with Idaho Education News on Monday afternoon for full coverage of Little’s State of the State address.