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‘He was a titan in Idaho politics’: Former Idaho Gov. Phil Batt dies

Former Idaho Gov.Phil Batt, center, receives the 2019 Idaho Medal of Achievement from outgoing Gov. Butch Otter and Governor-elect Brad Little, right, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019 during a ceremony at the Statehouse in Boise. | DARIN OSWALD, Idaho Statesman
BOISE (Idaho Statesman) – Longtime Idaho politician Phil Batt, who served as Idaho governor from 1995 to 1999, died Saturday on his 96th birthday, according to a statement from Gov. Brad Little.
“Governor Phil Batt was the epitome of a public servant, having served as Governor, Lt. Governor, and Senator. His legacy is distinguished by his unrelenting human rights leadership, determined fiscal conservatism, and enduring love of Idaho,” Little said in an emailed statement, noting that he was ordering flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of Batt.
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“It is fitting Phil Batt was born and passed on ‘Idaho Day,’ the celebration of the anniversary of the day President Abraham Lincoln created the Idaho Territory in 1863. Teresa and I send our love and condolences to his wife Francee, his children, and many, many friends.”
Batt, a Republican, served in the Idaho House of Representatives from 1965 to 1967, in the Idaho Senate from 1967 to 1978 and as lieutenant governor from 1978 to 1982. He was also the chairman of the Idaho Republican Party in the early 1990s.
He won the governor’s election in 1994, defeating Larry EchoHawk to become the first Republican governor in Idaho in 28 years.
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Born in Wilder on March 4, 1927, Philip Eugene Batt graduated from Wilder High School and moved on to study chemical engineering at the University of Idaho from 1944 to 1948, when he enlisted in the Army Air Force, according to previous Idaho Statesman reporting.
Batt’s first wife, Jacque, died in 2014 after they were married for 66 years. He married Francee Riley, of Boise, in 2015.
In a press release, U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, said Batt was a close friend and mentor during his time in the Idaho Senate.
“He was a titan in Idaho politics and cared deeply about our great state,” Risch said.
Lt. Governor Scott Bedke said in a press release Saturday that Batt was a man of “fairness and decency.”
“While his time in office predated my own, Gov. Batt was there when my political career first began; he appointed me to a federal task force that worked to keep Idaho a viable and influential voice in the lands process to uphold the beauty and wonders of our great state,” Bedke said.
The post ‘He was a titan in Idaho politics’: Former Idaho Gov. Phil Batt dies appeared first on East Idaho News.

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