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Cecil D. Andrus

From Academic Kids

Cecil Dale Andrus (born August 25, 1931) is a U.S. Democratic politician from the state of Idaho.

Andrus was born in Hood River, Oregon. He attended Oregon State University from 1948 to 1949 and served in the United States Naval Reserves from 1951 to 1955. After being discharged from the Navy Andrus moved to Orofino, Idaho.

Andrus represented Clearwater County in the Idaho Senate from 1961 to 1966. Andrus was defeated in the 1966 Democratic gubernatorial primary by Charles Herndon, but nonetheless became the replacement nominee when Herndon died in a plane crash during the campaign. Andrus lost the general election to Republican Don Samuelson, earning him the dubious distinction of losing a gubernatorial primary and general election in the same year. Andrus was reelected to the Idaho Senate in 1968.

Undaunted by his earlier setbacks, in 1970 Andrus defeated Samuelson in a gubernatorial election rematch thanks in large part to his opposition to developing molybdenum mining in central Idaho's White Cloud Mountains. Andrus was overwhelmingly reelected in 1974. In January 1977 Andrus resigned as governor to serve as Secretary of the Interior for newly-inaugurated President Jimmy Carter, becoming the first Idahoan to serve in a presidential cabinet. He was succeeded as governor by lieutenant governor John V. Evans.

As Interior Secretary Andrus was responsible for creating vast wilderness areas in Alaska. In 1979, when Carter demanded the resignations of his entire cabinet, Andrus refused to comply. Andrus returned to Idaho when Carter's presidency ended in 1981.

After several years in private life Andrus surprised many by recapturing the Idaho governorship in the 1986 election, defeating Republican lieutenant governor David Leroy. During his second stint as governor Andrus vigorously opposed federal efforts to store nuclear waste in Idaho. He gained national notoriety in 1990 when he vetoed a strict anti-abortion bill passed by the Idaho Legislature. Andrus was easily reelected to a fourth term as governor later that year. He did not run for reelection in 1994, and left office in January 1995 with a high approval rating and as the longest-serving governor in Idaho history.

In 1995 Andrus founded the Andrus Center for Public Policy at Boise State University. He published his memoir, "Politics Western Style," in 1998. Cecil D. Andrus Elementary School in Boise is named after him.


Preceded by:
Don Samuelson
Governor of Idaho (first run)
1971–1977
Succeeded by:
John V. Evans
Preceded by:
Thomas Savig Kleppe
U.S. Secretary of the Interior
1977–1981
Succeeded by:
James G. Watt


Preceded by:
John V. Evans
Governor of Idaho (second run)
1987–1995
Succeeded by:
Phil Batt

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