Government, Politics, and Higher Education

Idaho's constitution, adopted in 1889, became effective in 1890 upon statehood. The state's chief executive is a governor elected for a term of four years. The legislature consists of a 42-member senate and an 84-member house of representatives. The state also elects two representatives and two senators to the U.S. Congress and has four electoral votes.

Idaho is a Republican state in national politics but had Democratic governors from 1970 to 1994. Cecil D. Andrus, elected governor in 1970 and reelected in 1974, served as secretary of the interior during the Carter administration; he was elected governor again in 1986 and 1990. Republican Phil Batt, elected governor in 1994, was succeeded by Republican Dirk Kempthorne, elected in 1998 and reelected in 2002. Kempthorne was appointed secretary of the interior in 2006. He was succeeded as governor by Lt. Gov. James E. Risch, also a Republican. Republican Butch Otter was elected to the post later in the year and was reelected in 2010 and 2014. Brad Little, elected in 2018, continued the string of Republicans in the post.

Outstanding among Idaho's institutions of higher learning are the Univ. of Idaho, at Moscow; Idaho State Univ., at Pocatello; and Boise State Univ., at Boise.

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