Brad Little is the current Governor of Idaho. Very recently, he revealed his intention to reopen his state by June, which is a contentious issue to say the least. Here are a few things you don't know about the Governor of Idaho.
1. Born In Emmett, ID
Little was born in the city of Emmett in the state of Idaho. Said city is the county seat of Gem County, which is unsurprising when one learns that it is the one city that can be found in its county. It is interesting to note that Emmett and the rest of Gem County is home to the southern Idaho ground squirrel that was once thought to be conspecific with the northern Idaho ground squirrel.
2. Raised On a Ranch
The Little family has a ranch in Emmett, ID where Little was raised. Supposedly, the Little family has been very successful in this regard, as shown by the claim that Little's grandfather was called the "Idaho Sheep King." Over the course of Little's career in public service, he has continued to manage his family's ranching interests, thus resulting in a dual career for quite some time.
3. Went to the University of Idaho
For his education, Little went to the University of Idaho, which was once the state's sole university for a total of 71 years. It is interesting to note that said school is situated in a place called Moscow, ID. Based on the name, one would assume that the city was named for the Russian capital. However, there is no conclusive proof for this particular line of speculation. Instead, there are other stories about Moscow, ID being named for either Moscow, PA, Moscow, IA, or even a local Native American tribe called Masco. In any case, Little studied agri-business, which makes sense considering his eventual choice to run his family's ranch.
4. Is Episcopalian
Religion-wise, Little is a member of the Episcopal Church. In short, the Episcopal Church came into existence in the wake of the American Revolution, which had put the Church of England in the United States in a rather awkward position because its clergy are sworn to the British monarch thanks to the latter's status as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Having said that, it is counted as a member church of the Anglican Communion that was established in 1867. Curiously, the Episcopal Church claims apostolic succession, though said claim is recognized by neither the Catholic nor the Orthodox churches.
5. Has Been Involved in a Wide Range of Businesses
Over the course of his career, Little has been involved with a wide range of businesses in various ways. For example, he is the head of Little Enterprises, Inc., which is focused on cattle as well as farming. Likewise, Little has been both a director of the Idaho Wool Growers Association and a member of the Board of Directors of a small regional bank called Home Federal Bank, which are in addition to the other positions that he has held.
6. Started Out As a State Senator
Little started out his political career as a state senator. To be exact, Governor Dirk Kempthorne appointed him to fill a vacancy for District 8 in May of 2001. After the redistricting that happened in 2001 and 2002, Little was elected in District 11 before being reelected a total of four times. This saw him rise higher and higher in the state senate, as shown by how he was the Republicans' Majority Caucus Chair until he was named to a vacancy for Lieutenant Governor in January of 2009.
7. Focused on Economics
As the Lieutenant Governor, Little was very focused on economic matters. To some extent, this meant encouraging economic development in his state, as shown by his succession persuasion of Cliff Bar & Company to build a new food manufacturing plant. However, Little also undertook trade missions to places such as Mexico, Brazil, and the Basque Country in northern Spain.
8. Promised to Prioritize the Idaho National Laboratory
When running in the Idaho gubernatorial election in 2018, Little promised to prioritize the Idaho National Laboratory in the event of his victory. For those who are curious, the Idaho National Laboratory is one of the U.S. Department of Energy's national laboratories. Naturally, it has looked into a wide range of subjects over the course of its existence, with examples ranging from robotics to biological studies. However, it tends to be best-known for its involvement in nuclear research, with an excellent example being its building of a prototype reactor for the first nuclear-powered submarine in the world.
9. Intends a Gradual Reopening
Little has stated that he intends a gradual reopening. Assuming that everything goes well, he plans for most of his state to have reopened by the end of June. However, this means that Little and his team will continue to monitor the situation to see what happens so that they can decide whether to move forward with the reopening or not.
10. Intends Four Stages For Gradual Reopening
In total, there are four stages for the gradual reopening. First, Idahoan workers will return to work in a phased manner if physical distancing is possible, though more vulnerable Idahoans will remain in self-quarantine. Meanwhile, both public and private gatherings are discouraged, though an exception is made for houses of worship so long as they can meet certain guidelines. Second, gatherings of less than 10 people are now permitted, with the result that gyms and hair salons can reopen while bars and restaurants remain closed. Third, gatherings of 10 to 50 people are now permitted, non-essential travel to places without ongoing transmission is permitted, and vulnerable Idahoans can venture out into public but are recommended to continue practicing physical distancing. Fourth, bars, clubs, and large venues are permitted to open up, though with new guidelines for occupancy as well as physical distancing. Time will tell whether this four-stage gradual reopening will work out or not. However, it is interesting to note that Little has been facing opposition from within his own party because of his decisive action that enabled his state to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus to a more manageable level.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee