Brad Little is a widely respected third-generation Idaho rancher, working livestock and crops. He's taken a leadership role in many ag and business groups.
He's also a longtime Republican legislator, now serving as a state senator and Majority Caucus Chairman.
He's involved in efforts to resolve livestock grazing and timber management controversies on public lands, and to improve land-use planning and open-space preservation on private lands.
I know Brad as a friend, because he served on the High Country News board of directors during the 1990s.
He'd show up at the HCN board meetings, held in various locales around the West, wearing his black cowboy boots and you-know-what-kind-of hat. He'd prod the liberals on the board with his good-humored, reasonable-Republican jibes and suggestions.
Today, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter named Brad lieutenant governor -- a good idea.
The AP story says:
(Brad's) grandfather, Andy Little, arrived in Idaho from Scotland in 1894 and amassed a herd of about 200,000 sheep on some of the same land between the Boise Valley and the Salmon River where the family continues to graze its cattle herds.
Here's the story in the Idaho Statesman. And here's a few quotes from Brad at the end of my recent story about the struggles of conservationists within the Republican Party around the West.
Brad is not a raving environmentalist -- far from it. He is a conscientious landowner and steward, trying to conserve wildlife and open space while making a living. He's accustomed to dealing with burdensome government bureaucracies and sometimes reflexively anti-ranching enviros.
With Brad's ascendancy, Idaho's Republicans suddenly look a bit more reasonable and greener.