Joel M. Pritchard: An Oral History
After a decade of working on political campaigns in the Seattle area, Pritchard ran successfully for state representative in Seattle’s Thirty-sixth District in 1958. He entered the Legislature during a period of Republican minorities and worked closely with fellow legislators Dan Evans, Slade Gorton, Charles Moriarty, and others to build a new team of dynamic and moderate Republicans. Later, as a state senator, Pritchard was the chief architect of the liberalization of the state’s abortion law. He was a noted supporter of civil rights, environmental legislation, anti-gambling measures, and other reforms.
In 1972, Pritchard was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, serving the First Congressional District and served for 12 years. He came home to Washington State to pursue a dream that he had cherished for some time, serving as lieutenant governor. Pritchard realized that dream in 1989 and retired in 1997. Following his retirement, he remained active in many areas, including becoming an active board member of TVW, Washington’s statewide public affairs television channel.
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