Daniel J. Evans

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Daniel J. Evans
Official portrait c. 1965–1968
United States Senator
from Washington
In office
September 8, 1983 – January 3, 1989
Preceded byHenry M. Jackson
Succeeded bySlade Gorton
2nd President of Evergreen State College
In office
June 6, 1977 – September 8, 1983
Preceded byCharles J. McCann
Succeeded byJoseph D. Olander
Chair of the National Governors Association
In office
June 3, 1973 – June 2, 1974
Preceded byMarvin Mandel
Succeeded byCal Rampton
16th Governor of Washington
In office
January 13, 1965 – January 12, 1977
LieutenantJohn Cherberg
Preceded byAlbert Rosellini
Succeeded byDixy Lee Ray
Minority Leader of the Washington House of Representatives
In office
January 9, 1961 – January 11, 1965
Preceded byAugust P. Mardesich
Succeeded byJohn L. O'Brien
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 43rd district
In office
January 14, 1957 – January 11, 1965
Preceded byR. Mort Frayn
Succeeded byNewman H. Clark
Personal details
BornDaniel Jackson Evans
(1925-10-16) October 16, 1925
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse Nancy Bell ​ ​(m. 1959; died 2024)​
Children3
EducationUniversity of Washington (BS, MS)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service1943–1946
1951–1953
Battles/warsWorld War II
Korean War

Daniel Jackson Evans (born October 16, 1925) is an American politician from Washington. A member of the Republican Party, he served as governor of Washington from 1965 to 1977 and a member of the United States Senate from 1983 to 1989.

Following his service in the United States Navy, Evans was elected to the Washington House of Representatives in 1956. He then served as Republican leader of the House before being elected governor in 1964. He was reelected twice more in 1968 and in 1972. Described as a moderate Republican, particularly on social and environmental issues, Evans supported Nelson Rockefeller for the Republican nomination for president in 1968 and refused to endorse Richard Nixon, despite giving the keynote address at that year's Republican National Convention.

Evans was considered for the Republican vice-presidential nomination in 1968 and in 1976, although he was passed over both times. In 1983, he was appointed to the United States Senate following the death of Henry M. Jackson, and was elected in a special election in November and served until 1989, declining to run again. Since the death of James L. Buckley in August 2023, he is the oldest living former senator and, as of 2024, he is the only living former Republican governor or senator from Washington.

Early life and education

Evans was born in Seattle, Washington, descended from a family that had first arrived in the Washington Territory in 1859; his grandfather had served in one of Washington's first state senates. He grew up in the Laurelhurst neighborhood, and attended Roosevelt High School.

As a young man, Evans was an Eagle Scout, and served as a staff member and Hike Master at Camp Parsons, a well known Boy Scout camp in Washington State. As an adult, he was awarded the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the Boy Scouts of America in 1973.

After high school, Evans served in the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946. He first entered the V-12 Navy College Training Program, and was stationed at the University of Washington (UW), but was transferred eight months later to an Reserve Officers' Training Corps program at University of California, Berkeley. He did not see combat; he was deployed to the Pacific Ocean shortly after the end of World War II, as a commissioned ensign on a succession of aircraft carriers, before returning to UW in 1946.

Evans graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in civil engineering (BS, 1948; MS, 1949). The UW later (in 2007) gave him the distinction of Alumnus Summa Laude Dignitatus, the highest distinction the university confers on its graduates. He returned to the United States Navy (1951–1953) before working as a structural engineer (1953–1956); in the latter capacity, he helped draw up the plans for the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Political career

Having attended Toastmasters to improve his initially abysmal public speaking style, Evans served in the Washington State House of Representatives from 1957 to 1965 before being elected governor.

Evans during his tenure as governor

Despite being a Republican and a self-styled conservative, Evans became known for his administration's liberal policies on environmentalism (he founded the country's first state-level Department of Ecology, which became Nixon's blueprint for the federal Environmental Protection Agency) and strong support of the state's higher education system, including founding Washington's system of community colleges. In addition, he signed a bill to legalize abortion in the first four months of a pregnancy and fought unsuccessfully for a state income tax, two additional liberal positions.

Evans as a United States Senator, 1985

Governor of Washington 1965–1977

Evans announced his campaign for governor in December 1963. He was elected in 1964 and served until 1977, one of three to be elected to three terms, after Arthur B. Langlie and later current governor Jay Inslee, in Washington state history. A 1981 University of Michigan study named him one of the ten outstanding American governors of the 20th century. He declined to run for a fourth term in 1976. Current governor Jay Inslee joined both Langlie and Evans, becoming the third Washington governor to serve three terms with his re-election victory in 2020. Serial killer Ted Bundy served as a campaign aide for Evans, and maintained a close relationship with the governor. During the 1972 campaign, Bundy followed Evans's Democratic opponent around the state, tape recording his speeches, and reporting back to Evans personally. A minor scandal later followed when the Democrats found out about Bundy, who had been posing as a college student.

From 1977 to 1983, Evans served as the second president of Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, which Evans had created in 1967 by signing a legislative act authorizing the formation of the college. The largest building on the Evergreen campus is named the Daniel J. Evans Library, in his honor.

United States Senator 1983–1989

In 1983, Governor John Spellman appointed Evans to the United States Senate, to fill a seat left vacant by the death of long-time senator Henry M. Jackson. Evans won a special election later that year against Mike Lowry, and filled the remainder of Jackson's unexpired term, retiring from politics after the 1988 elections. He was unhappy during his term in the Senate, writing in a 1988 column in The New York Times Magazine that "debate has come to consist of set speeches read before a largely empty chamber" and adding that he felt demoralized by "bickering and protracted paralysis".

Evans voted in favor of the bill establishing Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a federal holiday, and the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 (as well as to override U.S. President Ronald Reagan's veto). Evans voted in favor of the failed Robert Bork Supreme Court nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States, which was rejected by the U.S. Senate.

Later life

After leaving the Senate in 1989, Evans founded his own consulting firm, Daniel J. Evans Associates. Governor Mike Lowry appointed him to the Board of Regents of the University of Washington in 1993; Evans served as the board's president from 1996 to 1997, and in 1999, the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington was named for him. Evans also went on to work in media, doing an editorial weekly on the KIRO-TV newscasts from the early- to mid-1990s. In 2012, Evans was listed as a director of the Initiative for Global Development. His autobiography was published in 2022. After the death of James L. Buckley in August 2023, he became the oldest living former U.S. senator. On January 26, 2024, his wife of 64 years, the former Nancy Bell, who he married in 1959, died at age 90.

Wilderness preservation efforts

Evans was a Boy Scout whose early experiences hiking in the Olympic Mountains nurtured a life-long love of wilderness.

Evans was a supporter when Congress created the North Cascades National Park in 1968. When governor, he persuaded President Gerald Ford to sign a 1976 legislation creating the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, when the U.S. Forest Service was urging a veto.

As a U.S. senator, Evans sponsored the million-acre Washington Park Wilderness Act, and legislation creating the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area.

In 1989, Evans co-founded the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, with Mike Lowry.

In 2017, Olympic Wilderness was renamed to Daniel J. Evans Wilderness, in honor of Evans.

Statewide races in Washington

1983 U.S. Senate special election in Washington

1972 Washington gubernatorial election

1968 Washington gubernatorial election

1964 Washington gubernatorial election

References

  1. ^ a b Banel, Feliks (February 9, 2022). "Former Washington Gov. Dan Evans reflects on storied career, state of modern GOP, and more". KIRO-FM. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  2. ^ a b McHenry 2007, p. 24–25.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Congressional Biography, accessed online August 13, 2007. As of 2024, Evans is only living former Republican governor of Washington.
  4. ^ a b c d e f McHenry 2007, p. 24.
  5. ^ a b c d McHenry 2007, p.25.
  6. ^ "P: Distinguished Eagle Scout Recipients". NESA.org. Retrieved January 13, 2024.
  7. ^ "Washington's 1970 Abortion Reform Victory: The Referendum 20 Campaign - Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project". University of Washington. Archived from the original on September 2, 2021. Retrieved September 2, 2021.
  8. ^ "Evans' man followed Rosy". Ellensburg Daily Record. UPI. August 30, 1973. Retrieved April 24, 2011.
  9. ^ "Aide to Washington's Governor Posed as Student in Foe's Camp". The New York Times. UPI. August 30, 1973. p. 23. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  10. ^ "The Evergreen State College Library". November 14, 2011. Archived from the original on November 14, 2011. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  11. ^ "Sen. Evans won't seek re-election". The San Bernardino County Sun. San Bernardino, CA. AP. October 21, 1987. Retrieved November 3, 2016 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  12. ^ Evans, Daniel J. (April 17, 1988). "Why I'm Quitting the U.S. Senate". The New York Times Magazine. p. 48. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  13. ^ "TO PASS H.R. 3706. (MOTION PASSED) SEE NOTE(S) 19".
  14. ^ "TO PASS S. 557, CIVIL RIGHTS RESTORATION ACT, A BILL TO RESTORE THE BROAD COVERAGE AND CLARIFY FOUR CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS BY PROVIDING THAT IF ONE PART OF AN INSTITUTION IS FEDERALLY FUNDED, THEN THE ENTIRE INSTITUTION MUST NOT DISCRIMINATE".
  15. ^ "TO ADOPT, OVER THE PRESIDENT'S VETO OF S. 557, CIVIL RIGHTS RESTORATION ACT, A BILL TO RESTORE BROAD COVERAGE OF FOUR CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS BY DECLARING THAT IF ONE PART OF AN INSTITUTION RECEIVES FEDERAL FUNDS, THEN THE ENTIRE INSTITUTION MUST NOT DISCRIMINATE. TWO-THIRDS OF THE SENATE, HAVING VOTED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, OVERRODE THE PRESIDENTIAL VETO".
  16. ^ Turner, Wallace (October 21, 1987). "Senator Evans Won't Run in '88". The New York Times. p. A21. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  17. ^ "Leadership Council | Initiative for Global Development". Igdleaders.org. Archived from the original on January 6, 2012. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
  18. ^ "James Buckley, conservative senator and brother of late writer William F. Buckley, dies at 100". POLITICO. Associated Press. August 18, 2023. Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  19. ^ "Nancy Evans, Washington's former first lady, dies at 90". The Seattle Times. January 28, 2024. Retrieved January 30, 2024.
  20. ^ a b c "'A fitting tribute': Olympic Wilderness renamed for longtime outdoors advocate, former Gov. Dan Evans". Seattle Times. August 21, 2017. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  21. ^ a b "Board and Committees". Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  22. ^ "S.2165 - Washington Park Wilderness Act of 1988". U.S. Congress. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  23. ^ "S.2055 - Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act". U.S. Congress. Retrieved December 29, 2019.
  24. ^ "Election Search Results - Elections & Voting - WA Secretary of State".
  25. ^ "Election Search Results - Elections & Voting - WA Secretary of State". Sos.wa.gov. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  26. ^ "Elections Search Results: November 1968 General". Secretary of State of Washington. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  27. ^ "Elections Search Results: November 1964 General". Secretary of State of Washington. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
Other sources

External links