Mike Lowry

Michael Edward Lowry
20th Governor of Washington
In office
January 13, 1993  January 15, 1997
Lieutenant Joel Pritchard
Preceded by Booth Gardner
Succeeded by Gary Locke
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 7th district
In office
January 3, 1979  January 3, 1989
Preceded by John Cunningham
Succeeded by Jim McDermott
Member of the Washington Senate
In office
Personal details
Born (1939-03-08) March 8, 1939
St. John, Washington
Political party Democratic
Religion Baptist

Michael Edward "Mike" Lowry (born March 8, 1939) served as the 20th Governor of the U.S. state of Washington from 1993 to 1997. Lowry is a Democrat.

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.[1] 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.[2][3][4][5]


  1. "Governor Is Settling Harassment Charges". New York Times. 1995-07-15. Retrieved 2009-09-29.
  2. "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow? To Shave or Not to Shave, That's the Question". Associated Press. 27 April 1989. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  3. Ferguson, Adele (12 June 2008). "Governor gabfest brings back memories". Port Orchard Independent. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  4. Brus, Michael (9 August 2001). "Beards Why are they such a turnoff?". Slate. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  5. Hughes, John. Slade Gorton: A Half-Century in Politics. Olympia, Washington: Washington State Legacy Project. p. 240. ISBN 1889320242.
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Political offices
Preceded by
Booth Gardner
Governor of Washington
January 13, 1993  January 15, 1997
Succeeded by
Gary Locke
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John Cunningham
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 7th congressional district

1979  1989
Succeeded by
Jim McDermott
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