Though the job of Idaho lieutenant governor is technically a part-time gig, there is no question it takes a full-time commitment to be current with issues, cultivate and communicate with constituents, and conduct state business.
The lieutenant governor fills in for the governor in his absence and presides over the state Senate when the Legislature is in session. A good one does advance, behind-the-scenes work on countless other projects - but rarely gets credit.
Since his appointment to this post in 2009 and his election in 2010, Lt. Gov. Brad Little has juggled these duties and given Idaho plenty more than part-time expectations. The take-away from observing and interviewing Little is an appreciation that he is well-versed on topics ranging from agriculture and business to energy and education. He is the consummate team player in all of his endeavors in support of the Gov. Butch Otter administration, but it is obvious Little's larger goal is to play and score for the long-term interests of Idaho.
He understands and supports the Common Core/Idaho Core education standards, as well as the link these and other education reforms have in stimulating economic success. Rather than put all of his eggs in the trendy and speculative basket of "transfering federal lands to state management" plan for economic success, Little believes in orchestrating several economic initiatives in the event those land transfer eggs never hatch.
For all of these reasons, we endorse Little in the upcoming May 20 GOP primary for lieutenant governor.
Little has been involved in an amicable race with Idaho County Commissioner Jim Chmelik. We appreciate the fact that their differences have been over principle. Chmelik is a smart and engaging guy who, we hope, can eventually grab an oar and row with the momentum created by the education and economic initiatives that Little is behind. Right now, we believe Chmelik and others are too fixated on the quick and instant success of wrangling federal lands and branding them for Idaho.
When asked what his Plan B economic strategy is if that land transfer roundup does not work or stalls in litigation, Chmelik suggested that Idaho capitalize on nuclear submarine technology and other Idaho National Laboratory know-how, and then parlay it into a network of nuclear energy-powered plants to generate power and income for the state.
The incumbent Little had already considered that, and pointed out to Chmelik that the submarine technology was not adaptable in that way.
Little is known for knowing a lot - especially things that seem beyond the realm and expectations for a full-time rancher/businessman in a "part-time" government job. That's why we feel Little deserves to advance in the primary and run against Democrat Bert Marley in the November general election.
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