BOISE – Outgoing Lt. Gov. Brad Little took the oath of office Friday as Idaho’s 33rd governor, although under the state Constitution he won’t officially become governor and assume those duties until a private swearing-in ceremony Monday.
The public inauguration ceremony on the Statehouse steps was held before about 1,500 onlookers and featured a flyover by four Idaho National Guard A-10 Thunderbolt jets and 19 cannon booms that set off at least one car alarm.
Little struck an upbeat theme in his address, thanking four previous governors in attendance for their work guiding the state and looking to the future.
“We must keep cultivating the skills of our citizens as we progress from a historically agrarian society to a modern information economy,” said Little, a rancher from Emmett.
He also said he planned to work to “reflect our shared Idaho values and aspirations” and ticked off a list of items within that framework.
“It means pushing back against federal overreach and delivering Idaho solutions where Idahoans enjoy the liberty of being the masters of their own destiny,” he said in a remark that drew the most applause.
Idaho lawmakers have said dealing with a voter-approved initiative that expanded Medicaid for low-income residents, school funding and paying for prisons will be among their top tasks.
The state Constitution states that the governor and other statewide officeholders will hold office for four years “beginning on the first Monday in January next after his election.”
Little is scheduled to give his first State of the State address later Monday in the House Chambers.
Other offices that require swearing in Monday are attorney general, state controller, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, superintendent of public instruction and state treasurer, all held by Republicans.
All those officeholders remain the same except for incoming Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, who is replacing Little, and state treasurer, where Julie Ellsworth is replacing Ron Crane, who is retiring.
Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, State Controller Brandon Woolf, Secretary of State Lawerence Denney and Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra are current officeholders.
All of them took public oaths of office Friday on the Statehouse steps.
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