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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 19, 2013 at 7:30 AM

Former Gov. Booth Gardner remembered

Always a friend

This Jan. 9, 1987 photo shows former Washington state Gov. Booth Gardner in his office. Gardner, a two-term Democratic governor, died Friday, March 15, 2013, after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. He was 76. (BRUCE LARSON / AP PHOTO / THE NEWS TRIBUNE)

This Jan. 9, 1987 photo shows former Washington state Gov. Booth Gardner in his office. Gardner, a two-term Democratic governor, died Friday, March 15, 2013, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 76. (BRUCE LARSON / AP PHOTO / THE NEWS TRIBUNE)

I served in the House of Representatives when Booth Gardner was governor [“Governor’s legacy widely felt,” page one, March 17]. He and I would meet frequently to exchange views on public education. He was very accessible, easy to talk with and was genuinely interested in others’ views.

Most of all he was a great person, personally. Years later when I lost my wife to cancer, one of the people who called me was Booth Gardner to assure me that things would get better for me and he wanted to know if I thought I would be OK.

That was the way Booth Gardner was. Always a friend and good guy.

–John Betrozoff, Coupeville

We can learn from Gardner

I had the pleasure of meeting Gov. Booth Gardner several times during my first job in Seattle and at the UW almost 24 years ago. Sunday’s Seattle Times cover story described how masterful the governor was at achieving significant education, health coverage, growth management and services for low-income families (my kind of stuff) across party lines. A major factor in those heady days, of course, was a “largely booming economy.”

Jump forward to now, a nation in a slow, yet recovering economy. In my observation, both locally and nationally, bad times result in toeing the party line. Politicians have lost focus on serving their constituents, their citizens, in favor of clinging together as if in a Titanic lifeboat. Just sayin’.

Booth Gardner was the kind of politician we need more of, someone who successfully navigated the political icebergs of his era.

–Ellen Barker, Seattle

Comments | More in Politics | Topics: Booth Gardner

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