Daniel J. Evans

American politician

Daniel Jackson Evans (born October 16, 1925) is an American Republican politician. He was the Governor of the state of Washington for three terms from 1965 to 1977. He represented Washington in the United States Senate from 1983 to 1989.[2]

Daniel J. Evans
United States Senator
from Washington
In office
September 12, 1983 – January 3, 1989[1]
Preceded byHenry M. Jackson
Succeeded bySlade Gorton
16th Governor of Washington
In office
January 11, 1965 – January 12, 1977
LieutenantJohn Cherberg
Preceded byAlbert Rosellini
Succeeded byDixy Lee Ray
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 43rd district
In office
Preceded byR. Mort Frayn
Succeeded byNewman H. Clark
Personal details
Daniel Jackson Evans

(1925-10-16) October 16, 1925 (age 98)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Nancy Bell
(m. 1959; died 2024)
Alma materUniversity of Washington

Early life


Evans was born in Seattle, Washington. He was in the United States Navy during the later years of World War II. Evans studied at the University of Washington. He originally studied to be a structural engineer.

Political career


Governor of Washington (1965-1977)


Evans was the 16th governor from 1965 until 1977.[2] He is the only governor to serve three four-year terms in a row. A 1981 University of Michigan study named him one of the ten outstanding American governors of the 20th century. He chose not to run for a fourth term.[3]

Serial killer Ted Bundy served as a campaign aide for Evans and maintained a close relationship with the Governor.[4] During the 1972 campaign, Bundy followed Evans' Democratic opponent around the state, tape recording his speeches and reported back to Evans personally.[4]

United States senator (1983-1989)


In 1983, Governor John Spellman appointed Evans to the United States Senate to fill a seat left vacant by the death of longtime senator Henry M. Jackson. Evans won a special election later that year against Mike Lowry and filled the remainder of Jackson's unexpired term, retiring from politics after the 1988 elections.[2] He was not happy as a U.S. Senator; he wrote an April 1988 piece in The New York Times Magazine, "Why I'm Quitting the Senate", in which he complained of fighting and lack of action.

Failed vice presidential bids


Evans was seriously considered for the Republican vice presidential nomination on the ticket with Gerald Ford in 1976 (but lost out to Bob Dole). Richard Nixon in 1968 had also hinted at a possible Evans nomination for the vice presidency.

At the 1968 Republican National Convention (where he gave the keynote address) Evans refused to endorse Nixon for the presidential nomination, remaining a supporter of the unsuccessful candidacy of Nelson Rockefeller.[5]

Personal life


Evans married Nancy Bell in 1959. Together, they had three sons, Daniel Jr., Mark and Bruce.

Nancy Evans, died on January 26, 2024 from breast cancer at age 90.[6]


  1. "EVANS, Daniel Jackson - Biographical Information". bioguide.congress.gov.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Congressional Biography, accessed online 13 August 2007.
  3. "Evans' man followed Rosy". Ellensburg Daily Record. UPI. 1973-08-30. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Ted Bundy". Law.Jrank.org. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  5. McHenry 2007, p. 24–25.
  6. "Nancy Evans, Washington's former first lady, dies at 90". The Seattle Times. 2024-01-28. Retrieved 2024-01-30.

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