World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Slade Gorton

Article Id: WHEBN0000647693
Reproduction Date:

Title: Slade Gorton  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: United States Senate election in Washington, 1980, United States Senate election in Washington, 1988, United States Senate election in Washington, 1994, Brock Adams, United States Senate election in Washington, 1986
Collection: 1928 Births, Columbia Law School Alumni, Dartmouth College Alumni, Discovery Institute Fellows and Advisors, Living People, Members of the Washington House of Representatives, People from King County, Washington, Politicians from Chicago, Illinois, Recipients of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, 1St Class, Republican Party United States Senators, United States Senators from Washington (State), Washington (State) Attorneys General, Washington (State) Lawyers, Washington (State) Republicans
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Slade Gorton

Slade Gorton
United States Senator
from Washington
In office
January 3, 1989 – January 3, 2001
Preceded by Daniel J. Evans
Succeeded by Maria Cantwell
In office
January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1987
Preceded by Warren Magnuson
Succeeded by Brock Adams
14th Attorney General of Washington
In office
Governor Daniel J. Evans
Dixy Lee Ray
Preceded by John J. O'Connell
Succeeded by Ken Eikenberry
In office
Personal details
Born (1928-01-08) January 8, 1928
Chicago, Illinois
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sally Jean Clark (1958–2013, her death)
Residence Clyde Hill, Washington
Alma mater Dartmouth College
Columbia Law School
Religion Episcopalian

Thomas Slade Gorton III (born January 8, 1928) is an American politician. A Republican, he was a U.S. senator from Washington state from 1981 to 1987, and from 1989 to 2001. He held both of the state's Senate seats in his career and was narrowly defeated for reelection twice as an incumbent: in 1986 by Brock Adams, and in 2000 by Maria Cantwell after a recount. Gorton was twice both Senior Senator (1983–87, 1993–2001) and Junior Senator (1981–83, 1989–93).


  • Background 1
  • U.S. Senate campaigns 2
    • 1980 2.1
    • 1986 2.2
    • 1988 2.3
    • 1994 2.4
    • 2000 2.5
  • Post-Senate years 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Gorton was born in Chicago, Illinois and served in the United States Army from 1945 until 1946. He then attended and graduated from Dartmouth College. He graduated from Columbia Law School, and served in the United States Air Force from 1953 until 1956, continuing to serve in the Air Force reserves until 1980 when he retired as a Colonel. Meanwhile, he practiced law, and entered politics in 1958, being elected to the state legislature of Washington, in which he served from 1959 until 1969, becoming one of the highest-ranking members. He was then Attorney General of Washington from 1969 until he entered the United States Senate in 1981. During his three terms as Attorney General, Gorton was recognized for taking the unusual step of appearing personally to argue the state's positions before the Supreme Court of the United States and for prevailing in those efforts.

He married Sally Clark Gorton on June 28, 1958.[1] On July 20, 2013, Gorton's wife of 55 years, Sally Jean Clark died of breast cancer at the age of 80 surrounded by family and friends.[1]

U.S. Senate campaigns


In 1980 he defeated longtime incumbent U.S. Senator and state legend Warren Magnuson by a 54% to 46% margin.


He was narrowly defeated by former Congressman Brock Adams.


He ran for the state's other Senate seat, which was being vacated by political ally Dan Evans, in 1988 and won, defeating liberal Congressman Mike Lowry by a narrow margin.

In the Senate, Gorton had a moderate-to-conservative voting record, and was derided for what some perceived as strong hostility towards Indian tribes.[2][3][4] His reelection strategy centered on running up high vote totals in areas outside of left-leaning King County (home to Seattle).[5][6]


In 1994 he repeated the process, defeating then-King County Councilman Ron Sims by 56% to 44% . He was an influential member of the Armed Services Committee as he was the only member of the committee during his tenure to have reached a senior command rank in the uniformed services (USAF).

He campaigned in Oregon for Gordon Smith and his successful 1996 Senate run.

In 1999, Gorton was among ten Republican Senators who voted against the charge of perjury during Clinton's impeachment, although he voted for Clinton's conviction on the charge of obstruction of justice.


In 2000, Democrat Maria Cantwell turned his "it's time for a change" strategy against him and won by 2,229 votes.[7][8]

Furthermore, Washington's Indian tribes strongly opposed Gorton in 2000 because he consistently tried to weaken Indian sovereignty while in the Senate.[9]

Twice during his tenure in the Senate, Gorton sat at the Candy desk.

Post-Senate years

In 2002, Gorton became a member of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (popularly known as the "9/11 Commission") and the commission issued its final report in 2004. [4]

In 2005, Gorton became the Chairman of the center-right Constitutional Law PAC, a political action committee formed to help elect candidates to the Washington State Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.

Gorton is an Advisory Board member for the Bipartisan Policy Center.[10]

Gorton serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, which is a museum dedicated to the U.S. Constitution.[11]

Gorton represented the city of Seattle in a lawsuit against Clayton Bennett to prevent the relocation of the Seattle SuperSonics basketball franchise, in accordance to a contract that would keep the team in KeyArena until 2010. The city reached a settlement with Bennett, allowing him to move the team to Oklahoma City for $45 million with the possibility for another $30 million.[12]

In 2010, the National Bureau of Asian Research founded the Slade Gorton International Policy Center. The Gorton Center is a policy research center, with three focus areas: policy research, fellowship and internship programs, and the Gorton History Program (archives).[13] In 2013 the Gorton Center was the secretariat for the ‘Commission on The Theft of American Intellectual Property’, in which Gorton was a commissioner.[14] Gorton is also a Counselor at the National Bureau of Asian Research.[15]

In 2012, Gorton was appointed to the board of directors of Clearwire, a wireless data services provider.[16]

Gorton is a member of the board of the Discovery Institute, notable for its advocacy of Intelligent Design.


  1. ^ a b "Civic leader, political wife Sally Clark Gorton dies".  
  2. ^ Westneat, Danny (September 14, 2008). "Where has McCain's honor gone?". The Seattle Times. Retrieved September 15, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Senator Slade Gorton's bill is an assault on sovereignty". Indian Country Today (Lakota Times). May 1998. Retrieved September 15, 2008. 
  4. ^ Kelley, Matt (April 30, 2000). "Tribes’ Top Target in 2000: Sen. Slade Gorton". Los Angeles Times. pp. B6. Retrieved September 15, 2008. 
  5. ^ Hendren, John (September 10, 2000). "Tough re-election race is nothing new to Gorton". The Seattle Times. Retrieved September 15, 2008. 
  6. ^ CONNELLY, JOEL (September 10, 2000). "GORTON IS ALREADY LINING UP PIECES FOR RE-ELECTION IN 2000". The Seattle P-I. pp. A3. Retrieved September 15, 2008. 
  7. ^ Balter, Joni (April 24, 2005). "Who is Maria Cantwell?". The Seattle Times. Retrieved September 15, 2008. 
  8. ^ "Maria Cantwell (Dem)". The Washington Times. September 15, 2008. Retrieved September 15, 2008. 
  9. ^ Getches, David H., Charles F. Wilkinson, Robert A. Williams, Jr. Cases and Materials on Federal Indian Law (2005). St. Paul: Thompson West. 5th ed. p. 29.
  10. ^ [5] "Senior Fellows, Bipartisan policy Center"
  11. ^ "National Constitution Center, Board of Trustees". National Constitution Center Web Site. National Constitution Center. July 26, 2010. Archived from the original on July 26, 2010. Retrieved July 27, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Seattle, Bennett Slam Door on the Sonics". The Wall Street Journal. July 3, 2008. 
  13. ^ "Slade Gorton Policy Center Web site.". 
  14. ^ "IP Commission Web Site.". 
  15. ^ "National Bureau of Asian Research Web Site.". 
  16. ^ [6]

External links

  • Congressional Bio
  • Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis LLP ("K&L Gates") Lawyer Bio
  • The Next Ten Years of Post-9/11 Security Efforts, Q&A with Slade Gorton (September 2011)
Legal offices
Preceded by
John J. O'Connell
Attorney General of Washington
Succeeded by
Ken Eikenberry
United States Senate
Preceded by
Warren Magnuson
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Washington
Served alongside: Henry M. Jackson, Daniel J. Evans
Succeeded by
Brock Adams
Preceded by
Daniel Evans
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Washington
Served alongside: Brock Adams, Patty Murray
Succeeded by
Maria Cantwell
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.