Friday, November 07, 2014

50 Years Ago--Dan Evans Elected Governor

On November 3rd, 1964. While the nation gave a landslide victory to Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson, our state elected a Republican Governor.  Dan Evans had an image as a straight arrow.  His popularity was such that he proposed a state income tax, something Liberal Democrats do not do.  He championed conservation, and education, and was behind prison reform.  In fact, when he finally left office, succeeded by Democrat Dixie Lee Ray in 1976, it was a shift to the Right, rather than the left.  He delivered the keynote address at the Republican National Convention in 1968, but also helped create and was later president of The Evergreen State College in Olympia,  a school with a reputation for Liberal ideas.
He would serve 3 terms as governor, defeating sitting two term Governor Al Rossellini in 1964. In 1968, he beat Attorney General John J. O'Connell and finally, in 1972 once again beat Al Rossellini.
Evans was later appointed to the US Senate to succeed the late Henry "Scoop" Jackson. He was elected in his own right in 1983, he would only serve one term.
He did have a couple of black marks on his career, although it can be argued that it was not his fault.  In his last campaign, bumper stickers came out attacking his opponent Al Rossellini's Italian heritage   He also had a young intelligent campaign aide named Theodore Bundy, who unbeknownst to those around him, had a notorious secret life.
Evans wife Nancy is a graduate of Whitman College.

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