King County Executive Dow Constantine issued the following tribute to former Gov. Mike Lowry.
Mike Lowry was a steadfast champion of the people and maintained the courage of his convictions. He liked to sum up the difference between his supporters and their conservative rivals with these simple words: "We're right and they're wrong!"
I met him in 1978 when, as a high school student, I interviewed Congressional Candidate Lowry for my Social Studies term paper. He was enthusiastic, passionate, and driven and he loved to share his idealism with all who were willing to listen, and even some who weren’t.
As an elected official, Mike Lowry was always several steps ahead of his time. As a King County Council member, he led the first effort to merge Metro and King County. As a member of Congress, he proposed restitution for Japanese Americans and Aleuts who had been interned during World War II and supported the then-controversial Export-Import Bank. As Governor, he pushed to reform the health care system by expanding health insurance coverage.
While all of these proposals drew major opposition, and most failed on the first try, all were eventually enacted. Mike was certainly right.
His legacy can be found across Washington State in the wilderness he worked to preserve, and in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary he fought to create. Mike Lowry worked hard and well for the people of King County and Washington State and will long be remembered for his service.