Skip to content

Former Gov. Daniel J. Evans honored by Senate

Daniel J. Evans, former Washington state governor, legislator, college president and U.S. Senator, was honored by the Washington State Senate Wednesday morning, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his first gubernatorial inauguration.

“There are no Republican schools and no Democratic highways. There are no liberal salmon. There are no conservative parks,” Dan Evans said to the Senate, which gave him a standing ovation.

[slideshow_deploy id=21171]


He was with his wife, Nancy Evans, and with former U.S. Senator Slade Gorton. Other members of his family, including his grandchildren, were in the gallery.

Evans was 39 when he was elected governor in 1964. He served as governor for 12 years — a record that has been unmatched since then.

During Evan’s tenure as governor, he started a state department of ecology, and created a number of councils to address issues important to women, Native Americans, Asian Americans, energy policy, thermal power plant siting, mental health services, and the prevention of drug abuse. The Evergreen State College, which later appointed him president, was founded during his tenure.

Evans was the keynote speaker at the 1968 Republican National Convention, and he was under consideration to be Richard Nixon’s vice presidential running mate, according to reports at the time.

In 1983, he was appointed to fill the term of U.S. Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, who died in office. Evans left the position in 1988.

“When the famous billboard went up during the ‘Boeing Bust’ asking the last person leaving Seattle to turn out the light, Gov. Evans remained steadfastly committed to seeing our state through a period of 14 percent unemployment,” said Sen. Karen Fraser, D-Olympia. “I appreciate his thoughtful, long-range approach to public policy which continues to benefit the people and natural resources of our state.”

Sen. Linda Evans Parlette, R-Wenatchee, cited his accomplishments and influences throughout the state in her support.

“I can think of no one more deserving of our appreciation, and the appreciation of the people of Washington than Dan Evans,” she said.