|Michael Edward Lowry|
|20th Governor of Washington|
January 13, 1993 – January 15, 1997
|Preceded by||Booth Gardner|
|Succeeded by||Gary Locke|
|Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 7th district
January 3, 1979 – January 3, 1989
|Preceded by||John Cunningham|
|Succeeded by||Jim McDermott|
March 8, 1939 |
St. John, Washington
Lowry was born and raised in St. John, Washington, and graduated from Washington State University in 1962. He had a brief career working for the Washington State Senate and as a lobbyist for Group Health Cooperative before being elected to the King County Council in 1975. He was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Washington's Seventh Congressional District in 1978, where he served until 1989.
Lowry twice ran unsuccessfully for the United States Senate. In a 1983 special election, he was defeated by Republican former Governor Dan Evans, then an appointed Senator and the incumbent, in a race to replace Democrat Henry "Scoop" Jackson, and in 1988 he lost to Slade Gorton, also a Republican, in a close race.
Lowry was elected governor in 1992 and served for a single term. His principal policy initiative was enactment of a statewide system of health insurance with premiums based on ability to pay. He chose not to run for re-election to a second term due to a sexual harassment scandal in which his deputy press secretary, Susanne Albright, accused him of making inappropriate remarks and fondling her. He was an unsuccessful candidate for Commissioner of Public Lands in 2000. More recently, Lowry has been active in building affordable housing for Washington's migrant farm workers.
Comparison to Yasser Arafat
During his career, Mike Lowry was repeatedly compared to Yasser Arafat by both media and political opponents in the state of Washington, due to a perceived similarity in physical appearance between the two. According to some reports, Lowry shaved off a beard he formerly sported specifically to avoid comparisons to the Palestinian leader.
- "Governor Is Settling Harassment Charges". New York Times. 1995-07-15. Retrieved 2009-09-29.
- "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow? To Shave or Not to Shave, That's the Question". Associated Press. 27 April 1989. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
- Ferguson, Adele (12 June 2008). "Governor gabfest brings back memories". Port Orchard Independent. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
- Brus, Michael (9 August 2001). "Beards Why are they such a turnoff?". Slate. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
- Hughes, John. Slade Gorton: A Half-Century in Politics. Olympia, Washington: Washington State Legacy Project. p. 240. ISBN 1889320242.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mike Lowry.|
- Mike Lowry at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Congressional Papers at the University of Washington library
- Oral history interview with Mike Lowry, 2006 Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project
|Governor of Washington
1993 – 1997
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 7th congressional district
1979 – 1989