1. News & Issues

Discuss in my forum

Gary Locke

By

Gary Locke Davis Wright Tremain

Political Significance:

Gary Locke is a leader of the Washington State Democratic Party, having served two terms as governor (1997-2005). An attorney, Locke became the first Chinese-American elected governor in the United States. After leaving public office, he joined the Seattle office of Davis, Wright, Tremain, an international law firm.

Background:

Locke (b. 21 Jan 1950) was born in Seattle, a third-generation American; his mother was from Hong Kong but his father was a native U.S. citizen. In 1972, he graduated from Yale University with a political science degree. He earned a law degree from Boston University in 1975. Locke and his wife, Mona Lee Locke, a former reporter for KING 5 television in Seattle, were married in 1994. They have three children: Emily Nicole, Dylan James and Madeline Lee.

Locke's Political Career - Local :

Locke was a King County Deputy Criminal Prosecutor (1976-1980) before entering elected office. In 1982, South Seattle voters elected Locke to the Washington State House of Representatives. He was a member of the House Judiciary and Appropriations committees; his final five years, he served as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. In 1993, he defeated incumbent Tim Hill to become King County's County Executive; he was the first Chinese-American to hold this position.

Locke's Political Career - Governor:

In 1996, Locke become the first Chinese American state governor in U.S. history when he became the 21st Governor of the state of Washington. He easily won re-election in 2000. His second term was marked by the bursting of the dot-com bubble, resulting in controversial budget measures, including reduction in state education funding. Public education is the only charter granted by the state constitution. He did not run for a third term.

Locke's Political Career - National:

In 2003, the Democratic Party selected Lock to respond to George W. Bush's 2003 State of the Union address. On 4 December 2008, the Associated Press reported that Locke was in the running for Secretary of the Interior in then-President-elect Barack Obama's cabinet. On 23 February 2009, CNN reported that Locke was President Barack Obama's third choice for Secretary of Commerce.

Post-Political Career:

After leaving the Governor's office in 2005, Locke joined the Seattle office of the international law firm Davis Wright Tremain, LLC as a partner. He specializes in China, government relations, diversity counseling and energy issues.
  1. About.com
  2. News & Issues
  3. US Politics
  4. Profiles
  5. Gary Locke, Washington State Democratic Governor - Gary Locke

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.