EMMETT - Third-generation Idaho rancher and 42nd Lt. Gov. Brad Little wants to become the Gem State's 33rd governor. He's running against Congressman Raul Labrador and Boise businessman Tommy Ahlquist for the Republican nomination.
LIttle believes he is the person for the job.
"I think because of my experience," Little said. "I think because of where I've come from, what I've seen, that I understand how to adapt to change."
Little grew up on his family's sheep and cattle ranches, including a 3,000-acre ranch outside Emmett.
His grandfather came to this area from Scotland more than 120 years ago.
"His first job was up the creek there. So, in 1894, he walked up this (area)," Little said. "There was nothing here. There was an old stage road here, and he walked up there for his first job."
Little, 64, still enjoys working on the ranch when he can.
"Last winter when the snow was really bad, it wasn't near as much fun as it is now," Little joked.
He also says ranch life helped develop his work ethic and his conservative political philosophy.
"Being regulated by the government. That's part of it," Little said.
Operating the ranch for most of his life, and operating in the State Capitol Building for the last 17 years, have led up to today and his desire to be the next governor. He believes governing boils down to one question:
"How do we create the best opportunity for our kids and grandkids to stay here, and for those that left, to come back?," Little said. "That's what I'm passionate about."
His answer to that question has many components, including lower taxes, affordable health care and a good education system.
For education, he believes in raising teacher pay, encouraging career-technical education and focusing on the reading skills of the youngest students.
"The rest of the program is much more difficult if these kids aren't reading proficiently at the end of the third grade," Little said.
The lieutenant governor believes tax relief will help families and businesses. He supported the unemployment tax break that is now law, supports lowering the state income tax and eliminating the 6 percent grocery tax, an issue on which he split from Gov. Butch Otter.
"Groceries are a fundamental need of everyone," Little said. "Why would you tax it given the fact that every state around us doesn't tax it except for Utah, and they tax it at a much, much lower rate."
He also feels more affordable health care is key. He's touting a plan he worked on that allows insurance companies to offer cheaper policies that don't have to meet all the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. He and the governor signed the executive order that set the wheels in motion. The idea targets those who choose not buy insurance because they can't afford it.
"Insurance doesn't work if the young and healthy aren't buying the product," Little said. "And so what this does is make a far more affordable product available to those people, widen the pool, and we'll lower the cost to everybody."
Little says he sees some similarities between wrangling cows on the ranch and wrangling votes in the Legislature, but also big differences.
"As a ranch owner you ultimately have to make all the decisions," Little said. "Even as governor you still got a board of directors of 105 people (state legislators) that come with a whole diversity of different issues, and if you can't work through that you got problems."
Gov. Otter appointed Little as lieutenant governor in 2009 when Jim Risch left to serve in the U.S. Senate. Then Little was elected two more times.
Little has been married to his wife, Teresa, for 40 years. They live in Emmett. They have two sons and five grandchildren.
If you'd like to learn more about Little's platform and his stance on the issues, you can check out his campaign website here.