Albert Rosellini, the former two-term governor of Washington and the oldest living former chief executive in the U.S., turns 100 on Thursday.
On Saturday, he was honored at a luncheon by spring chicken ex-Govs. Dan Evans (R), who is 84; Booth Gardner (D), 73 (and who is suffering from Parkinson's); Mike Lowry (D), 70; and Gary Locke, now the Secretary of Commerce, who turns 60 on Thursday. Also attending was current Gov. Chris Gregoire (D), whose age (62) was not divulged in the nice Seattle Times writeup of the luncheon.
Roselllini was first elected governor in 1956 and re-elected four years later. During his two terms he pushed for economic development and increased spending on higher education while at the same time balancing the budget.
Seeking a third term in the big Democratic year of 1964, he nonetheless was unseated by Republican Evans by a wide margin. In 1972, when Evans was seeking his own third term, Rosellini attempted a comeback by challenging him, but once again he lost.
And yet, as the Times article points out, the two are good friends. Said Evans about their common experience of being governor, "We all share the same thing. It's welded us together." And Rosellini added, "You fight bitterly at the time, but then you go on, pick up and forget."
Thanks to Washington residents (and Junkie readers) Sean Walbeck and C. Vigneron for the heads up.