MICHAEL LOWRY was born and raised in the Whitman County town of St. John, where his father managed a grain operation. He graduated from Washington State University in 1962. He became the staff director of the Washington State Senate Ways and Means Committee in 1969, a position he held for five legislative sessions. He was elected to the King County Council in 1975, serving as chair in 1977. The following year he was elected president of the Washington Association of Counties, and then was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving for 10 years. From 1989 to 1992, he taught at Seattle University’s Institute for Public Service and co-chaired the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition. He was elected governor November 1992.