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Brad Little
Brad Little official photo.jpg
33rd Governor of Idaho
Assumed office
January 7, 2019
Lieutenant Janice McGeachin
Scott Bedke
Preceded by Butch Otter
42nd Lieutenant Governor of Idaho
In office
January 6, 2009 – January 7, 2019
Governor Butch Otter
Preceded by Jim Risch
Succeeded by Janice McGeachin
Member of the Idaho Senate
In office
May 24, 2001 – January 6, 2009
Preceded by Judy Danielson
Succeeded by Melinda Smyser
Constituency 8th district (2001–2002)
11th district (2002–2009)
Personal details
Bradley Jay Little

(1954-02-15) February 15, 1954 (age 70)
Emmett, Idaho, U.S.
Political party Republican
Teresa Soulen
(m. 1978)
Children 2
Education University of Idaho (BS)

Bradley Jay Little (born February 15, 1954) is an American politician serving as the 33rd governor of Idaho since January 2019. A member of the Republican Party, he served as the 42nd lieutenant governor of Idaho from 2009 to 2019 and as an Idaho state senator from 2001 to 2009.

Little is a graduate of the University of Idaho, having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1976. He has been involved in public service since the 1980s. Little was appointed as an Idaho state senator by governor Dirk Kempthorne in 2001, a position he held for just under eight years. During his senate seating, Little chaired the majority caucus and represented the 8th and (after redistricting in 2002) 11th legislative districts. In 2009, Governor Butch Otter appointed Little to the office of lieutenant governor after the previous lieutenant governor, Jim Risch, resigned to become a United States Senator.

After Otter declined to run for a fourth term, Little ran for governor in the 2018 gubernatorial election and defeated Democratic nominee Paulette Jordan. He was reelected in 2022 with 60.5% of the vote, defeating Democratic nominee Stephen Heidt and Independent candidate Ammon Bundy.

Early life and education

Little was born and raised in Emmett, Idaho and graduated from Emmett High School in 1972. He attended the University of Idaho in Moscow, was a member of the Idaho Alpha chapter of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, and earned a B.S. in agribusiness in 1976.


Littles with Rischs - 1-7-11 (15519104474)
Little at his 2011 inauguration, with U.S. Senator Jim Risch and their wives

Little has had an extensive dual career tending to his family's ranching interests (his grandfather was the "Idaho Sheep King") and in public service. During the 1981 and 1985 legislative sessions, Little represented his father, David Little, in the Senate on a temporary appointment due to illness, during which time he served on the Finance and Resources Committees. Little also managed his family's ranching operation, Little Land and Livestock, for almost 30 years until his son, David, became manager in 2009 when Little was appointed lieutenant governor. He continues to work as the head of Little Enterprises, Inc. (a diversified farming and cattle operation), and is a member of the board of directors of Performance Design Inc., a small Boise-based manufacturing company.

Little has also been involved in a variety of private organizations and companies based in Idaho and the Mountain West. He is a former chairman of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry (IACI), "The Voice of Business in Idaho", and was a member of its board for 20 years (1981–2001). Little is also the former vice-chairman of the Idaho Community Foundation and the Emmett Public School Foundation, and the former director of the Idaho Wool Growers Association and the University of Idaho Foundation. He has also served in the past on the boards of directors of High Country News, Home Federal Bank, a small Idaho-based regional bank recently acquired by Bank of the Cascades, and the Idaho Foundation for Excellence in Education.

State senator (2001–2009)

Governor Dirk Kempthorne appointed Little to fill a state senate vacancy in May 2001. He represented what was at the time District 8, which covered a part of Gem County surrounding and north of Emmett, all of Boise, Valley, and Adams Counties, and the southern portion of Idaho County.

After a change in district boundaries due to redistricting in 2001–02, Little was elected in the fall of 2002 to District 11, which then encompassed all of Gem County and the northern portion of Canyon County, including the communities of Middleton and Parma. He was reelected senator from the 11th legislative district four times. Little was also elected in 2003 by his Republican peers to the party leadership position of Majority Caucus Chair, which he held until 2009.

Committee assignments

  • Agricultural Affairs 2002
  • Resources and Environment 2002
  • State Affairs 2003–2009
  • Resources & Environment 2003–2009
  • Transportation 2003–2009
  • Economic Outlook
  • Revenue Assessment

State Senator from District 11: 2002 results

Republican Party Votes Pct Republican Party Votes Pct
Brad Little 3,865 72.1 Mike Pullin 1,498 27.9
Republican Party Votes Pct Independent Votes Pct
Brad Little 8,478 76.2 John Steinebach 2,646 23.8

State Senator from District 11: 2004 results

Republican Party Votes Pct Republican Party Votes Pct Republican Party Votes Pct
Brad Little 3,402 65.00 Steven Thayn 1,398 26.71 Walter Bayes 434 8.29
Republican Party Votes Pct
Brad Little 13,533 100.00

State Senate from District 11: 2006 results

Republican Party Votes Pct Constitution Party Votes Pct
Brad Little 10,090 77.05 Jared Eastley 3,006 22.95

State Senate from District 11: 2008 results

Republican Party Votes Pct Independent Votes Pct
Brad Little 14,870 77.5 Kirsten Faith Richardson 4,309 22.5

Lieutenant governor of Idaho (2009–2019)

Little presiding over State Senate - 12-1-11 (15955758337)
Little presiding over the Idaho Senate in 2011

Appointment, election and reelection

In January 2009, Governor Butch Otter appointed Little to the office of lieutenant governor to fill the vacancy left by former Lieutenant Governor Jim Risch's election to the U.S. Senate in 2008. Little was sworn in by Otter on January 6, 2009, and confirmed by unanimous consent when the Idaho Senate convened on January 12.

Little was elected lieutenant governor in 2010, defeating two opponents in the primary election and two opponents from the Democratic and Constitution parties in the general election. He was reelected in 2014.

Lieutenant Governor of Idaho: 2010 results
Republican Party Votes Pct Republican Party Votes Pct Republican Party Votes Pct
Brad Little 95,758 67.6 Joshua Blessinger 26,808 18.9 Steven Dana Pankey 19,096 13.5
Republican Party Votes Pct Democratic Party Votes Pct Constitution Party Votes Pct
Brad Little 299,979 67.8% Eldon Wallace 120,174 27.2% Paul Venable 22,007 5.0%
Lieutenant Governor of Idaho: 2014 results
Republican Party Votes Pct Republican Party Votes Pct
Brad Little 96,780 66.8 Jim Chmelik 48,099 33.2
Republican Party Votes Pct Democratic Party Votes Pct Constitution Party Votes Pct
Brad Little 271,268 62.8% Bert Marley 141,917 32.9% David Hartigan 18,705 4.3%

Economic development and trade missions

Little focused on economic development as lieutenant governor, helping persuade energy bar producer Clif Bar to build a new food manufacturing plant in Idaho in 2013.

Little also took part in and led several trade missions. He led a Friendship Mission to Basque Country in Spain in 2010, during which he met President of the Basque Government Patxi López. During this meeting, Little and López agreed to establish a Basque Economic Development Office in Boise that "would provide resources and services for Idaho and Basque companies to ease collaboration on research, sales and collaborative programs." Little later signed the Euskadi-Idaho Friendship Agreement, which affirms the friendship and cultural affinity between the Basque Country and Idaho, which has the largest Basque community outside Spain.

Little was also a member of a 2011 Idaho trade delegation that traveled to Mexico and Brazil. After the trade mission, he said, "we found tremendous interest and opportunities in both countries for Idaho products and services … This trip strengthened key trade relationships and established new customers for Idaho businesses." The Idaho Department of Commerce estimated that the mission resulted in sales of more than $30 million.


In the 2014 legislative session, Little sponsored Senate Bill 1354, an anti-"patent troll" bill. The bill protects companies from abusive or "bad faith assertions of patent infringement" to collect an extortionate licensing fee.

Governor of Idaho (2019–present)

2018 election

In June 2016, Little announced his candidacy for the Idaho gubernatorial election in 2018. He said that Idaho National Laboratory would be a priority if he became governor.

Little was endorsed by incumbent Governor Otter, former governors Dirk Kempthorne and Phil Batt, and U.S. Senator Jim Risch.

President Donald J. Trump Meets with Governors-Elect (32440546418)
Little speaks during a meeting at the White House with President Trump and Vice President Pence and fellow governors-elect.

During his campaign, Little called for a phased-in $350 million reduction in the state income tax and the elimination of the Idaho grocery tax.

Little won the Idaho Republican Party primary, beating both U.S. Representative Raúl Labrador and businessman Tommy Ahlquist with 37.3% of the vote. In the general election in November, he defeated state Representative Paulette Jordan, the Idaho Democratic Party nominee, by over 130,000 votes.

2022 reelection

In March 2022, Little filed papers to run for a second term in office, having announced his intention to run the previous month. He won the Republican nomination in May, defeating Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin.

The Democratic nominee in the race was Stephen Heidt. At the same time, an anti-government activist, Ammon Bundy, ran in the race as an independent. Little easily won the November 8 election, certifying the win in every county except Blaine County, which Heidt won.


In 2021, Little signed legislation that raised signature requirements for ballot initiatives.

Electoral history

Idaho gubernatorial elections: 2018
Year Democratic Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
2018 Paulette Jordan 231,081 38.2% Brad Little 361,661 59.8% Bev "Angel" Boeck Libertarian 6,551 1.1% Walter L. Bayes Constitution 5,787 1.0%
Idaho Gubernatorial Republican primary election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Brad Little 72,518 37.3
Republican Raúl Labrador 63,460 32.6
Republican Tommy Ahlquist 50,977 26.2
Republican Lisa Marie 3,390 1.7
Republican Steve Pankey 2,701 1.4
Republican Harley Brown 874 0.4
Republican Dalton Cannady 528 0.3
Total votes 194,448 100.0
Idaho Gubernatorial Republican primary election, 2022
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Brad Little (incumbent) 148,831 52.8
Republican Janice McGeachin 90,854 32.2
Republican Ed Humphreys 30,877 11.0
Republican Steve Bradshaw 5,470 1.9
Republican Ashley Jackson 3,172 1.1
Republican Lisa Marie 1,119 0.4
Republican Ben Cannady 804 0.3
Republican Cody Usabel 680 0.2
Total votes 281,807 100.0

Personal life

Little married Teresa Soulen of Weiser in May 1978; they have two sons and five grandchildren.

See also

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