Philip Eugene Batt (born March 4, 1927) is an American politician who served as the 29th Governor of Idaho from 1995 to 1999. Batt had previously served as the Lieutenant Governor of Idaho, Chair of the Idaho Republican Party, and as a member of the Idaho Legislature. He is a member of the Republican Party.
|29th Governor of Idaho|
January 2, 1995 – January 8, 1999
|Preceded by||Cecil Andrus|
|Succeeded by||Dirk Kempthorne|
|Chair of the Idaho Republican Party|
|Preceded by||Randy Ayre|
|Succeeded by||N. Randy Smith|
|35th Lieutenant Governor of Idaho|
January 1, 1979 – January 3, 1983
|Preceded by||William Murphy|
|Succeeded by||David Leroy|
|34th President pro tempore of the Idaho Senate|
|Preceded by||James Ellsworth|
|Succeeded by||Reed Budge|
|Member of the Idaho Senate|
|Member of the Idaho House of Representatives|
Philip Eugene Batt
March 4, 1927
Wilder, Idaho, U.S.
(m. 1948; died 2014)
|Residence||Wilder, Idaho, U.S.|
|Education||University of Idaho (attended)|
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Years of service||1945–46|
|Unit||Army Air Forces|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
Early life and educationEdit
Born in Wilder, Idaho, Batt was the fifth and youngest child of John and Elizabeth Karn Batt. Batt served sixteen months in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II at Lowry Field, Colorado, working as a clerk discharging veterans. He then returned to the University of Idaho and studied chemical engineering, lived in the dorms, and led a dance band, playing clarinet and tenor saxophone. (Half a century later as governor, Batt played with Lionel Hampton in Moscow at the jazz legend's UI festival.)
Before becoming governor, Batt had been a Republican politician in Idaho for thirty years, serving in the state legislature (house 1965–67, state senate 1967–79), and as the 35th lieutenant governor from 1979 to 1983. He ran for governor in 1982 and was defeated in a close race by the Democratic incumbent, John Evans. The election was so close that at least one television network declared Batt the winner on Election Night.
Idaho Republican Party ChairEdit
Batt was elected chairman of the Idaho Republican Party in January 1991, and after a successful two years, he stepped aside in April 1993 to re-enter electoral politics in 1994. Batt had previously ran for the post in 1968 and lost to Roland Wilber, 127 to 218.
Batt won the Republican gubernatorial primary in 1994 with 48% of the vote, and defeated state attorney general Larry EchoHawk in the general election 52% to 44%, for the first GOP victory for governor in 28 years. Despite high popularity, he chose to serve only one term, citing his age, and left office at age 71. Succeeding Batt, Kempthorne won two terms, Butch Otter three terms, and Brad Little one term, giving the Republicans seven consecutive wins through 2018. Among Batt's more notable accomplishments as governor was pushing through worker's compensation for agricultural workers and negotiating a pact limiting nuclear waste storage in Idaho.
Batt has self-published two books since leaving office, a memoir titled The Compleat Phil Batt: A Kaleidoscope in 1999, and a compilation of humorous stories, Life as a Geezer, in 2003. Batt, who has a gay grandson who lives out of state, supports Add The Words.
On January 9, 1948 in Potlatch, Idaho, he eloped with Jacque Fallis of Spokane, a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. The newlyweds had to leave school a month later when Batt's 66-year-old father was involved in a serious automobile accident which left him with limited strength and speech. Though the young Batts initially hoped to return to college, economic circumstances changed their plans and they reluctantly did not.
|1982||John Evans (inc.)||165,365||50.6%||Phil Batt||161,157||49.4%|
|1994||Larry Echo Hawk||191,362||45.2%||Phil Batt||216,123||51.1%||Ronald Rankin||Independent||15,793||3.7%|
- Kuykendall, Martha. "Philip E. Batt". Martha's Extended Family. Retrieved March 8, 2013.
- Miller, Dean (June 13, 1994). "Batt jazzes up his campaign". Spokesman-Review. p. A6.
- "Freshmen". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1947. p. 111.
- "Sophomores". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1948. p. 135.
- White, Vera (March 2, 1998). "He's no Benny Goodman, but Benny wasn't governor". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. p. 1A.
- "Batt tries a big chair on 'Short People's Day'". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. December 17, 1977. p. 1A.
- "Idaho Governor Philip E. Batt". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
- Kennedy, John (November 4, 1982). "Gov. Evans rejoices, Batt talks about quitting politics". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. p. 1C.
- "Phil Batt has seen close races before". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. December 18, 2000. p. 7A.
- "Election results". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. November 8, 1984. p. 7C.
- "Batt makes retirement official". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. February 26, 1988. p. 4B.
- "Idaho Republicans elect Phil Batt chairman". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. January 13, 1991. p. 1B.
- "Randy Smith is elected to succeed Phil Batt". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. April 23, 1993. p. 4C.
- Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho), June 16, 1968:
- "Election results". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. November 10, 1994. p. 8C.
- "Batt rescues Republican". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. November 10, 1994. p. 1C.
- "Batt says Republicans shouldn't let guard down". Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Associated Press. September 18, 1997. p. 3B.
- "U. S. Electoral College". www.archives.gov. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- "Juniors". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1947. p. 96.
- "Delta Delta Delta". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1947. p. 300.
- The Compleat Phil Batt: A Kaleidoscope (ISBN 0-9677135-5-2), 1999, p. 3-16
- Idaho Public Television: Phil Batt
- The Almanac of American Politics: Phil Batt
- National Governors Association
- Appearances on C-SPAN