Jack Metcalf

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Jack Metcalf
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 2nd district
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2001
Preceded byAl Swift
Succeeded byRick Larsen
Member of the Washington Senate from the 10th district
In office
Succeeded byMary Margaret Haugen
Member of the Washington Senate from the 21st district
In office
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
BornNovember 30, 1927
Marysville, Washington
DiedMarch 15, 2007(2007-03-15) (aged 79)
Langley, Washington
Resting placeBayview Cemetery
Langley, Washington
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Norma Metcalf
Children4 daughters
EducationPacific Lutheran University (BA, 1951)
University of Washington(M.Ed., 1966)
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1946–1947
Battles/warsCold War

Jack H. Metcalf (November 30, 1927 – March 15, 2007) was an American politician and veteran who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 2001. He represented the 2nd district of Washington State and was a Republican.[1][2][3]

Born in Marysville, Washington, and raised in Langley,[1][2] Metcalf graduated from high school and entered the U.S. Army, and was discharged in 1947. He then worked for two years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a marshal in Alaska. Metcalf received a bachelor's degree in education from Pacific Lutheran University in 1951, and a master's degree from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1966. Metcalf was a high school and junior high teacher (civics, math) for thirty years, mostly in Everett, later retiring to run a bed and breakfast on his family's homestead at Langley.[1]

Metcalf was first elected to the state legislature in 1960, representing the 38th District. Defeated for a third term in 1964, he was elected to the state senate in 1966 from the 21st District and served until 1974, and served again from the 10th District from 1980 to 1992. He twice ran unsuccessfully against incumbent Democrat Warren Magnuson for the U.S. Senate in 1968 and 1974. In 1992, Metcalf again sought national office, but was unable to defeat incumbent Democrat Al Swift in the House election.

With Swift retiring from the House in 1994, Metcalf ran yet again. This time, he was elected; he was re-elected in 1996 and 1998. A supporter of term limits such as those proposed in the 1994 Contract with America (which Metcalf had signed), Metcalf did not run for re-election in 2000 in order to honor his self-imposed term-limit of three two-year terms.

A Goldwater conservative, during the latter part of his political career Metcalf was known as an opponent of the Federal Reserve, which he considered unconstitutional. He also built a close relationship with many in organized labor, especially with the building trade unions. In his last term in office (1998–2000) he surprised some observers by taking some additional positions unusual for a conservative Republican, such as working with Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to protest whaling by the Makah people, and hiring Washington state antiwar speaker and writer Craig B. Hulet as a special assistant. He also cosponsored legislation with Congressman Dennis Kucinich to label genetically modified foods.

Metcalf also demonstrated a strong pragmatic streak while serving in Congress, including seeking out a position as a conferee on the TEA-21 Act of 1998. He delivered significant funding for a number of transportation infrastructure programs because of this work.

He was also a strong supporter of both Boeing and its workers. In 1999 shortly after the crash of EgyptAir Flight 990 (a Boeing 767) he and his wife travelled to Egypt via EgyptAir in order to show his confidence in the professionalism of the Egyptian flight crews and airlines, as well as the aircraft they flew.

A number of Metcalf's staff went on to run for or service in public office including State Representatives Kirk Pearson (39th leg.), Chris Strow (10th leg.) and Norma Smith (10th leg.). Lew Moore who served as Chief of Staff for much of Metcalf's tenure ran for Snohomish County Executive in 1999 and served as campaign manager for Congressman Ron Paul's 2008 presidential campaign.

Metcalf died at age 79 at an Alzheimer's care facility in Oak Harbor. He was buried at Bayview Cemetery in Langley, Washington.[4]

On May 8, 2008, the ferry terminal in Clinton was named after Metcalf, in part for his work to secure funding for safety improvements to it while a member of Congress.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Cornfield, Jerry (March 15, 2007). "Jack Metcalf: loss of a true maverick". Everett Herald. (Washington). Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Westneat, Danny (September 5, 1999). "Washington's 19th-Century Man - Jack Metcalf's days in Congress are numbered, along with the spirit of an older Northwest". Seattle Times. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  3. ^ Mitchell, Melanthia (March 16, 2007). "Ex-Rep. Metcalf dies in Alzheimer's clinic". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). Associated Press. p. B3.
  4. ^ Jack H. Metcalf at Find a Grave
  5. ^ VanDerford, Jeff (June 25, 2008). "Clinton ferry terminal named for Jack Metcalf". South Whidbey Record. Retrieved August 25, 2019.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Richard G. Christensen
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Washington
(Class 3)

1968, 1974
Succeeded by
Slade Gorton
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Al Swift
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 2nd congressional district

Succeeded by
Rick Larsen