Breaking News
More () »

Idaho's longest serving House Speaker prepares for new role as Lt. Governor

Republican Scott Bedke said he is excited to work as a team with Idaho Governor Brad Little, a change of pace from the current office.

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho’s longest running House Speaker is preparing for a new role as Lt. Governor of Idaho. After a convincing win on election night, Republican Scott Bedke is set to work with Governor Brad Little, who won re-election in fairly simply fashion.

Bedke steps into an office that has faced years of criticism under the administration of Janice McGeachin. The current Lt. Governor, McGeachin, chose to not seek re-election for Lt. Governor, instead opting for a run at Idaho Governor that ended after the May primary.   

McGeachin continues to see criticism about her handling of the Lt. Governor office, specially with budget items that now appear to put the Bedke administration in a hole of several thousand dollars.

Bedke said he believes he will get a clean slate with the office, eventually.

“We'll go in with a deficit because some of the activities, some of the actions of my predecessor, but we're not going to let that stop us. I'm going to be out and about and we'll have a great staff in that office that will be able to interface with the public and to do the scheduling and all of the all the research behind the issues,” Bedke said. “I don't think that we'll miss a beat. We'll see what the legislature does. It's all on them. They can fix it or they can let it ride. Whatever they choose, it works.”

Bedke said he is excited to work with Gov. Little, someone he is very familiar with and has worked with dating back to their early legislative days. Little won with a large majority of votes, but independent candidate Ammon Bundy still earned more than 100,000 votes for voters that likely lean conservative. 

So, how does Bedke view the future of Idaho in terms of working with all Idahoans?

“We've always got to be doing what we think is right, by far the largest percent of Idahoans supported Governor Little as they supported me and the other winners. I think that we take that as a as clear direction," Bedke said. "I don't think there's any percentage or any good to be had by looking over your shoulder. We're just going to go do what we think is right. After we collect data consensus, we're going to be plugged in to our state and from that from that input, we will go forward."

In his role as Lt. Governor, Bedke will move across the Idaho State Capitol to preside over the Senate, a role Bedke is excited for.

“I look forward to getting to know a new group of people. The House was the House, and I was privileged to enjoy their confidence for the last five cycles, and they elected me as their speaker. There's a lot of responsibility that comes with that," Bedke said. "The people elected me to be the presiding officer of the of the Senate. So, that's a little different. There's a little different culture there, but I don't foresee any problems in the transition. I look forward to learning a new process, and I look forward to all the new friends that I'll have there."

In Idaho, the Lt. Governor role has room to push passion projects. Bedke said he has a few topics he plans to lead the charge on for Idaho.

“It's going to be incumbent upon us to conserve what we have to make it go as far as we can and to prepare. You know, they say to prepare for a rainy day, we need to prepare for a drought. Second, and arguably every bit as important, is that I want to create and or help create an atmosphere, a situation in Idaho where Idaho kids can always get an Idaho job. So, that's two circles working together," Bedke said. "So, you have to have a positive business climate, but you cannot have a positive business climate without having a quality education available to every kid. If there's one thing that I heard on the campaign trail and it didn't matter whether they're Democrats or Republicans or everybody in between, parents and grandparents want their kids to have access to a quality education, and that spans all political, the whole political spectrum."

Join 'The 208' conversation:

KTVB is now on Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. Download the apps today for live newscasts and video on demand.

Download the KTVB mobile app to get breaking news, weather and important stories at your fingertips.

Sign up for the Daily 7 newsletter: Your forecast. Your commute. Your news.

Before You Leave, Check This Out