Gary Locke
State of Washington

Gary Locke was elected Washington's 21st governor on Nov. 5, 1996, making him the first Chinese-American governor in U.S. history. On Nov. 7, 2000, Locke, a Democrat, was re-elected to his second term. As governor, he has worked to make Washington a better place to live, work and raise a family by: making the state’s schools the best in the nation; strengthening the state's economy with an efficient, effective transportation system and business climate; and making the state government more accessible and user-friendly while ensuring it delivers to taxpayers the services they most need at a reasonable and sustainable cost.

Born into an immigrant family on Jan. 21, 1950, Locke spent his first six years in Seattle's Yesler Terrace, a public housing project for families of World War II veterans. He worked in his father's grocery store, became an Eagle Scout and graduated with honors from Seattle's Franklin High School in 1968. Then, through a combination of part-time jobs, financial aid and scholarships, Locke attended Yale University, where he received his bachelor's degree in political science in 1972.

After earning a law degree from Boston University in 1975, he worked for several years as a deputy prosecutor in King County, prosecuting people for crimes such as robbery and murder. In 1982, Locke was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives, where he served on the House Judiciary and Appropriations committees, with his final five years as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Prior to his term as governor, Locke was elected chief executive of King County in 1993 and took on all of the challenges facing Washington's most complex urban area.

Locke and his wife, Mona Lee Locke, a former reporter for KING 5 television in Seattle, were married on Oct. 15, 1994. They are the parents of Emily Nicole, born on March 9, 1997, and Dylan James, born on March 13, 1999.


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