GARY LOCKE Biography - Polititians


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Name: Gary Faye Locke                                                                   
Born: 21 January 1950 Seattle, Washington                                               
Gary Faye Locke (born January 21, 1950) was the Democratic governor of                   
Washington (1997-2005), and the first and to date only Chinese American governor         
in United States history.                                                               
Locke was born in Seattle, Washington. As a third-generation American with               
paternal ancestry in Taishan, Guangdong Province in China, Locke is the second           
of five children of James (from the United States) and Julie Locke (from Hong           
Kong). His parents gave him the Chinese name of Lok Ga-fai; his middle name "Faye"       
comes from an Americanized spelling of his Chinese name. He graduated with               
honors from Seattle’s Franklin High School in 1968. Through a combination of           
part-time jobs, financial aid and scholarships, Locke attended Yale University,         
earning a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1972. He then went on to           
receive his law degree from the Boston University School of Law in 1975. Locke           
is an Eagle Scout and recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award from the         
Boy Scouts of America.                                                                   
In 1994, he married Mona Lee Locke, a Seattle television reporter born to a             
father from Shanghai and a mother from Hubei. They have three children: Emily           
Nicole, Dylan James, and Madeline Lee. Locke is a Baptist.                               
In 1982, his South Seattle district elected him to the Washington House of               
Representatives, where he served as chairman of the Appropriations Committee.           
Eleven years later, in 1993, he made history by becoming the first Chinese               
American to be elected King County's County Executive, defeating incumbent Tim           
Hill. In 1996, he won the primary and general elections for governor, becoming           
the first major Chinese American head of government in North America. He easily         
won reelection in the 2000 governor's race.                                             
Democrats criticized Locke for embracing the Republican Party's no-new-taxes             
approach to dealing with Washington's budget woes, during and after the 2001             
recession. Among his spending-reduction proposals were laying-off thousands of           
state employees; reducing health coverage; freezing most state employees' pay;           
and, cutting funding for nursing homes and programs for the developmentally             
disabled. In his final budget, Locke suspended two voter-passed, pro-school             
initiatives while cutting state education funding. That same state budget,               
though, had record-high allocations for construction projects.                           
On the national stage, Democrats saw Gary Locke as a rising star and a possible         
vice-presidential pick. He was chosen to give the Democrat's response to George         
W. Bush's 2003 State of the Union address. Meanwhile back at home, former               
Washington Supreme Court Justice Phil Talmadge announced his plans to challenge         
Locke (supported by the state's political left) in the 2004 primary. Talmadge           
ultimately ended his campaign early, though, for health reasons.