Former Idaho Republican Gov. Phil Batt dies at 96

 March 6, 2023

Former Idaho Republican Gov. Phil Batt died on Saturday at the age of 96, according to his daughter.

The former state leader served as Idaho's governor from 1995 to 1999.

His life

"Batt was born March 4, 1927, in Wilder. After graduating from Wilder High School he studied chemical engineering at the University of Idaho from 1944 until 1948. During World War II, he served 16 months in the Army Air Forces before returning to the university," KTVB-7 reported.

"The date of his birth -- and death -- fall on the anniversary of Idaho's establishment of a U.S. territory in 1863. In 2022, all of Idaho's living former governors and current Gov. Brad Little celebrated Gov. Batt's 95th birthday -- and Idaho Day -- at the Idaho State Archives," it added.

His legacy

Current Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) shared a statement reflecting on Batt's legacy.

"Governor Phil Batt was the epitome of a public servant, having served as Gov, Lt. Gov, & Senator," he wrote on Twitter.

"His legacy is distinguished by his unrelenting human rights leadership, fiscal conservatism, & love of Idaho. Teresa & I send our condolences to his wife, children & friends," he added.

"A man of fairness and decency"

Lt. Gov. Cott Bedke also reflected on Batt's life in a brief statement following the former governor's death.

“A man of fairness and decency, Gov. Batt served our community with a commitment to protect our lands, fight for human rights, and ensure fiscal responsibility,” Bedke said.

“Idaho Governor Phil Batt will be remembered as a strong and thoughtful leader, dedicated to the people of Idaho and advancing human rights in the state,” Idaho Republican Sen. Mike Crapo added.

The governor's nearly century-long life impacted his entire state and beyond through his political leadership and other areas of service. His passing marks the end of an era in which a state was led by a person who personally served in the Armed Forces during World War II and went on to return to his own state to continue serving his nation.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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