Seattle University

Former Washington Gov. John Spellman dies at 91

John Spellman, the last Republican governor elected in Washington state, has died at 91.

Spellman's son, Seattle attorney David Spellman, confirmed the death Tuesday.

John Spellman served one four-year term as governor following his 1980 election. He previously served as King County's first county executive, and before that had served on the King County Commission. He lost his bid for a second term to Democrat Booth Gardner in November 1984.

David Spellman said his father, who died Tuesday, had been in the Virginia Mason hospital since Dec. 27 after breaking his hip and eventually succumbed to pneumonia.

"He was very peaceful at the end," he...

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