Ron Dunlap (politician)

Ron Dunlap
2nd King County Executive
In office
January 14, 1981  November 1981
Preceded by John Spellman
Succeeded by Randy Revelle
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 41st district
In office
Personal details
Born Ronald W. Dunlap
(1937-10-31) October 31, 1937
South Bend, Indiana
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Allison Dale (m. 1967–2002, her death)
Barbara Hermsen (m. 2005)
Children Marcia Dunlap (b. 1970)
Lynne Marie Dunlap (b. 1972)
Residence Port Ludlow, Washington
Carmel, California
Alma mater Purdue University (BS, 1959)
Purdue (MS, 1961)
Occupation Politician
Website King County Executive

Ron Dunlap (born October 31, 1937)[1] served three terms as Washington State Representative from the 41st District, representing Bellevue, Mercer Island and Renton starting in 1974; he would later be appointed the second King County Executive, succeeding John Spellman, for eleven months starting in January 1981. Spellman had resigned as Executive following his election as the 18th Governor of Washington. Dunlap was defeated by Randy Revelle in the November 1981 election for King County Executive.

Early life

Dunlap was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana,[1] graduating from James Whitcomb Riley High School in 1955, where he was active in drama and choral groups. He went on to attend Purdue University, earning bachelor's and master's degrees in Engineering Science in 1959 and 1961, respectively. He entered Harvard University as a doctoral student of economics, but left the program to work for Boeing in Seattle, Washington.[1]

Political history

Dunlap served as a member of the Washington State House of Representatives from 1974 to 1980, after volunteering time to the King County Republican headquarters in 1973.[1]

While serving in the Washington State Legislature, Dunlap co-authored State Initiative 62 with Ellen Craswell on June 1, 1978.[2] Initiative 62 was a bill to limit increases state tax revenue to the growth rate of personal income.[3] I-62 passed the House by an 86–9 vote on the last day of the regular legislative session, meaning it was too late for the state Senate to vote on, so it was sent to the general election following a signature-gathering process,[4] where it was passed.[3]

Ron and Allison Dunlap were credited with converting the non-practicing Bruce and Ellen Craswell to born-again Christians. During the campaign for Initiative 62, the two couples would travel together, discussing the Bible; Bruce would spar with Allison over the veracity of the Bible, but could not shake her faith.[5]

Dunlap left the state legislature in 1980 to run for the seat in the United States House of Representatives representing Washington's 7th congressional district, where he was defeated by Mike Lowry.

1980-11-04 U.S. Representative District #7 Election Result[6]
No. Party Candidate Votes Percentage
1DemocraticMike Lowry112,84857.3%
2RepublicanRon Dunlap84,21842.7%
Total 197,066

On December 29, 1980, Dunlap was named as King County Executive, replacing the seat vacated by governor-elect John Spellman, in a 7–2 vote of the King County Council.[7] Dunlap assumed the duties of Executive on January 14, 1981, following Spellman's inauguration.[1] Dunlap announced his candidacy to seek a full four-year term as Executive in June 1981, and although he held a significant fundraising edge and exit polls showed him leading Randy Revelle, he was narrowly defeated in the November 1981 election.[1]

After being defeated for Executive, Dunlap was appointed to a congressional redistricting panel in 1982. Dunlap left politics after 1983.[1]


Dunlap married the former Allison Dale in 1967 after being introduced by a mutual friend at Boeing in 1965.[1] They had two children: Marcia (b. 1970) and Lynne Marie (b. 1972). Allison died in 2002 from cancer,[1][8] and Ron Dunlap later would go on to remarry the former Barbara Hermsen, a fellow Harley-Davidson enthusiast and licensed pilot.


  1. "Initiatives to the Legislature". Office of the Secretary of State of the State of Washington. 2016. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  2. 1 2 Washington Limitation on State Tax Revenues, Initiative 62 (1979) at Ballotpedia
  3. Davis, Hugh (July 2, 1979). "Initiative 62 Goes Non-Partisan Route". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  4. Matassa, Mark (February 5, 1995). "Craswell's Crusade — This long-shot candidate dares to mix religion and politics". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on November 1, 2000. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  5. "Elections Search Results". Office of the Secretary of State of the State of Washington. November 4, 1980. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  6. "Loser replacing winner". The Spokesman-Review. AP. December 30, 1980. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  7. "Allison Dunlap". The Seattle Times. August 1, 2002. Retrieved November 1, 2016.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
John Spellman
King County Executive
1981  1981
Succeeded by
Randy Revelle
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/9/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.