The State Senate Republican Caucus released a statement Thursday honoring former U.S. Senator Slade Gorton.
Gorton, who died on Aug. 19, 2020, at the age of 92, received a memorial service at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle on Wednesday after a long delay due to COVID-19 restrictions.
In 1958, Gorton was elected to the state House of Representatives where he rose to become House Republican leader. He then became attorney general under former Gov. Dan Evans.
“Slade Gorton exemplified the best in politics,” said state Senate Minority Leader John Braun, R-Centralia. “What he accomplished was tremendous, from saving the Mariners to maintaining vital defense facilities in Washington state and chairing the federal 9/11 commission. But I think the perspective he brought to the public arena was just as important … He understood that being right is never enough — you also need to win — and the best way to do it is to negotiate from strength, and to convince the other team of the wisdom of compromise.”
“For more than 40 years, he was point-man for Washington Republicans on redistricting,” Braun continued. “He remained an elder statesman in Washington politics long after he left the U.S. Senate in 2001, offering advice behind the scenes on statehouse strategies and political campaigns, and the trends that would shape Washington politics in the future.”
Braun noted the importance of Gorton’s political strategy of uniting people from across Washington as opposed to what Braun views as a Seattle-centric approach to state politics.
“Slade had the right idea,” Braun said. “Political parties win on the breadth of their appeal, and the people are better represented when their elected leaders take an interest in the state as a whole. Slade made a lasting contribution to Washington and its people that continues to influence us today.”