Governor of Idaho
|Office website:||Official Link|
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Idaho Constitution, Article IV, Section 5|
|Assumed office:||January 1, 2007|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014|
|Last election:||November 2, 2010|
|Other Idaho Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Controller • Superintendent of Public Instruction • Agriculture Director • Insurance Director • Director of Lands • Labor Director • Public Utilities Commission|
The 32nd and current governor of Idaho is Republican Butch Otter, first elected in November 2006 and returned to office in 2010. Otter's first term began on January 8, 2007, and his second term started on January 3, 2011. Otter will next come up for re-election in November 2014, and his second term will end on January 5, 2015.
Before becoming governor, Otter served three terms as a U.S. Representative for Idaho's 1st congressional district from 2001 to 2006, before which he served as the Lieutenant Governor of Idaho. Prior to entering public service, Otter served on the board of directors of the J.R. Simplot Company, a food processing and agricultural company, where he also worked as director of the food products division. He has also served as president of Simplot Livestock and Simplot International. Otter served in the Idaho Army National Guard from 1968 to 1973; after leaving the military and as he began his career in the private sector, he served two terms in the Idaho House of Representatives (1973-1976).
The supreme executive power of the state is vested in the governor, who shall see that the laws are faithfully executed.
|2014 • 2013 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010|
|Current Lt. Governors|
|Lt. Governor Elections|
|2014 • 2013 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010|
- at least thirty-years old
- a United States citizen
- a resident of Idaho at least two years prior to the election
No person shall be eligible to the office of governor or lieutenant governor unless he shall have attained the age of thirty years at the time of his election; ... In addition to the qualifications above described each of the officers named shall be a citizen of the United States and shall have resided within the state or territory two years next preceding his election.
Idaho elects governors to four year terms in federal midterm election years, that is, even years that are not presidential election years. Thus, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 are all gubernatorial election years. The gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the first Monday in the January following an election. Thus, January 3, 2011 and January 5, 2015 are inaugural days.
If two candidates ever tie in the general election, a joint session of the legislature chooses the winner by a majority vote.
- See also: States with gubernatorial term limits
- See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled
The powers of the governor devolve to the Lieutenant Governor of Idaho any time the Governor is unable or unwilling to discharge the office, or has been removed from the office. In such instances, the lieutenant governor exercises the office of governor either until the latter can resume the office or until the next gubernatorial election.
Additionally, under Section 14, if the offices of both governor and lieutenant governor are vacant, the office of governor passes first to the President Pro Tem of the Idaho Senate and next the Speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives.
The governor is responsible for upholding the Idaho Constitution, executing state law and recommending a state budget to the legislature. He is also the commander of the Idaho militia at all times when the state's military forces have not already been called into service by the federal government.
The governor may fill vacancies in any state executive office, including other constitutional offices, when the law does not otherwise provide the manner for filling a vacancy. If the Senate, whose confirmation is required, is in recess, the appointment stands until the Senate reconvenes.
During special circumstances the governor can call for special sessions of the legislature. The governor has the power to veto bills, including appropriations, but must list his objections. The legislature can override a veto by a two-thirds vote of each chamber. In Idaho the governor also serves as the President of the Board of Examiners and Chairman of the Board of Land Commissioners and appoints department heads and members of boards and commissions.
Other duties and privileges of the office include:
- Granting pardons and reprieves when the legislatively controlled Board of Pardons is not in session, not to be permanent until the Board sits again. Regarding convictions for treason, the Governor may only stay the sentence pending legislative review.
- Requiring reports, made under oath, from state officials and managers of state institutions, on any aspects of their jobs.
- Making a 'State of the State' address to the General Assembly at the beginning of each session, including recommendation on prudent courses of action for the state and, somewhat unique among the constitutionally mandated aspect of such addresses, an estimate of the tax revenue the state will require for the coming year.
- Convening extraordinary sessions of the Senate to conduct specific Executive business.
- Authorizing and signing all commissions and grants made by the state of Idaho.
- Idaho Commission on Aging
- Idaho Commission on the Arts
- Commission for the Blind & Visually Impaired
- Idaho Office of Drug Policy
- Office of Energy Resources
- Financial Management
- Human Resources
- Idaho Commission on Human Rights
- Northwest Power and Conservation Council
- Public Employee Retirement System
- Serve Idaho, Governor's Commission on Service & Volunteerism
- Office of Species Conservation
- See also: Compensation of state executive officers
Originally, Section 19 of Article IV addressed the compensation of Executive officers, a section that has been since repealed.
Partisan balance 1992-2013
In May 2013 Ballotpedia conducted a study of the partisan control of state government from 1992-2013. During those 22 years, in Idaho there were Democratic governors in office for the first three years while there were Republican governors in office for the last 19 years. Idaho is one of eight states that were run by a Republican governor for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. Idaho spent the last 19 years under Republican trifectas.
Across the country, there were 493 years of Democratic governors (44.82%) and 586 years of Republican governors (53.27%) from 1992-2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 83720
Boise, Idaho 83720
State of Idaho
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Controller | Treasurer | Superintendent of Public Instruction | Director of Insurance | Director of Agriculture | Director of Lands | Director of Labor | Public Utilities Commission |