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Op-Ed: Bedke Seeks Traditional Role for Lt. Gov.

By • October 4, 2022

House Speaker Scott Bedke of Oakley, once viewed as one of the bright young stars in the Republican Party, is now an aging political figure who has yet to have “his turn” for a higher office.

The 64-year-old Bedke hasn’t done badly for himself, serving 10 years in one of the two most powerful positions in the Idaho Legislature. He has an impressive 22-year career in the Legislature, serving at one time or another on the Budget, the Revenue & Taxation, the Resources & Conservation, and Transportation committees. There’s no serious question about his intelligence and overall knowledge of state government.

Under normal circumstances, Bedke would be a natural fit for Congress in the second district. And running for a U.S. Senate seat would not be out of the realm of possibility for someone of Bedke’s stature. But those jobs have been locked down by Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, and Congressman Mike Simpson, and they show no signs of slowing down.

So, what’s left? Well, governor. As a candidate for lieutenant governor, and favorite to win over Democrat Terri Pickens Manweiler (more about her later), Bedke is putting himself into a position of getting that job in four years. If Bedke wins, don’t expect him to spend the next four years campaigning for governor. His approach is more low key than what we’ve seen from Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, who was trounced by Little in May’s GOP primary election.

“As lieutenant governor, I will work for Idaho and not my own political aspirations,” Bedke said. This means that Gov. Brad Little could leave the state without worrying about the “acting governor” imposing executive orders that would need to be reversed upon the governor’s return.”

A lieutenant governor has no policy-making authority, except for breaking tie votes in the Idaho Senate. But as other lieutenant governors have done over the years – including Little, former Gov. Butch Otter and Risch – Bedke intends to be an effective working partner with the governor.

“The smart money is on Gov. Little’s re-election, and I have worked well with him over the years,” Bedke says. “I can extend the governor’s reach and be a sounding board on policy issues. He can’t be everywhere at once and I can help on that. I’ve worked with four governors, and more extensively with Otter and Brad. I’m a known quality to them and they trust me.”

One of Bedke’s last duties as speaker was presiding over the special session called by the governor. While there was criticism about the session on several fronts, including McGeachin’s office, Bedke, said the session served its purpose.

“People in Idaho and the United States have experienced record inflation, numbers we haven’t seen since the Carter administration,” Bedke said. “We had more money than we needed to meet the budget, so it was proper to send some of it back to the people. In retrospect, the rebate part of the session was a no-brainer.”

The other two parts of the session – flattening the income tax and pouring money into the schools was part of improving the Gem State’s business climate, he said.

“When people move to Idaho, jobs usually are a secondary issue. People are concerned about where their kids go to school and worried about the quality of that education,” Bedke says.

“Inflation is also affecting schools. Dollars don’t go as far, but you still need to have competitive wages to keep up. You need to pay a competitive salary, and everyone knows that a quality education starts with a good teacher in every classroom.”

Lieutenant governor may not be where Bedke wants to end up in his career, but he sees an opportunity to do some retail politics, opposed to the grind of making public policy.

“I will be promoting Idaho,” he said. “For me, I want opportunities for my kids and my grandkids. I want a stable tax structure that is predictable and fair. I want my grandkids to get a quality education and to live in Idaho, if they choose. I tour the state and talk with a lot of people. What sums up the collective mentality is that no one, including me, wants to wake up 10 years from now and wonder where our Idaho went.”

If things work out right for Bedke, he could be the lead figure in shaping policy 10 years into the future.

ctmalloy@outlook. Chuck Malloy is a long-time Idaho journalist and columnist. He may be reached at

This Op-Ed was submitted by Chuck Malloy. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.

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Tags: Brad Little, Governor, Janice McGeachin, Lieutenant Governor, Scott Bedke

32 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Bedke Seeks Traditional Role for Lt. Gov.

  1. I would not support Bedke if he was running against Hillary Clinton.

    To hell with Bedke. He is the most corrupt politician in Idaho.

    1. We already know where Idaho went under Bedke and Little’s leadership. It was not pretty when they locked down the state, shut down small businesses, churches, travel and kept open essentials such as liquor stores They even had small business owners arrested, church goers arrested, young mother arrested for walking in a park all for huge amounts of money from the federal government. They did not care about our rights.
      Now they claim no rights were violated. What kind of people are they? Certainly not conservative Republicans.

  2. “If things work out right for Bedke, he could be the lead figure in shaping policy 10 years into the future.”

    Let’s pray things don’t work out. He is bought and paid for by Big Pharma. He should be ashamed of the damage he has caused, not looking to inflict more of his unethical “leadership” on Idaho.

  3. Kangaroo Court Bedke needs to be run the hell out of Idaho Politics permanently!!!
    This piss ant Dictator may be jail material, but he’s sure not Lt Governor material.
    Terri Pickens Manweiler is smarter, more conservative and more capable than this clown will ever be. But she jumped ship and doesn’t support Trump.


  4. I don’t see this as a good idea. Bedke and Little are corrupt and only in this to feed their bank accounts. The people be damned. We saw this during the phony pandemic. These two do not deserve our votes!

  5. Bedke and Little are in retirement denial. Both have tried their hand at politics and not improved Idaho. Their failures during covid prove it’s time we elect real conservatives in Idaho. Neither will get my vote.

  6. I’m very surprised at the pandering tone from the author. It’s as if he has taken the side to promote Bedke without reservation and without acknowledging the Speaker’s role in quashing legislation via the “drawer veto” – not the least of which included bills on concealed carry and reciprocity, a bill to end the State of Emergency, a bill to clarify and limit the powers of the Governor during a State of Emergency, and many others.

    The author also fails to acknowledge that Bedke – like Little – refused to have a debate with his opponents either in the Primaries or in the Generals, instead relying on third party advocacy groups and corporate monies to further his political ambitions. His attacks on Priscilla Giddings and Janice McGeachin – especially the false lawsuit smears against McGeachin – are part and parcel of a politician who isn’t willing to stand for truth and transparency. And make no mistake, Bedke – like Little and Otter before him – is bought and controlled by Big Pharma/IACI.

    I would rather vote for a Democrat than for a coward and bootlicker like Bedke. And if it weren’t for the fact that there is a third-party candidate, I would.

  7. The fact that Little supports Bedke is reason enough to be leery of Bedke….as if his own antics in the House in the past few years–blocking conservative bills, spending like a socialist and playing favorites–were not enough.

  8. Bedke is a cancer that needs to be excised from Idaho politics.
    A dangerous, highly-skilled career politician who lies for a living.

  9. Most of the comments on this article are negative about Bed ke. Rightly so, both Little and Bedke’s have been bought and paid for by IACI & Farm Bureau and other large lobbyist Pacs. Idahoans should be concerned about about these 2 Rinos working together.

  10. We will never forget going to Boise to the Kangaroo Court where Bedke et al went after Priscilla Giddings, lying and trying to destroy her politically (with Little’s consent). We are new to Idaho politics, but we haven’t seen anyone this bad politically as this man Bedke. A snake, slimy, lying, dirty, crooked, backstabbing and winning at all costs. He must be related to Biden.

  11. Bedke is pure RINO manipulator. He is a baton carrier for Establishment-Idaho Chapter, working for WEF. They will slow roll us into the jail cell that Democrats can’t accomplish.
    Malloy claims Little “trounced” McGeachin…..maybe because his pals in MSM smeared her day after day with lies and insults. Betzee Russell led the pack of wolves.

  12. After reading some of Malloy’s op-ed pieces, I can only conclude that he’s a shill for the RINO Repubs. The three amigos of Little, Bedke and Winder must be removed if Idaho is to remain Idaho.

  13. Bedke is a misogynist dirtbag. The only explanation to how he could trash three outstanding women with identity politics.

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