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Former Governor John Evans has died at the age of 89

Former Idaho Governor John Evans, a man praised by Republicans and Democrats alike, has died at the age of 89. His death on July 8th gave us an excuse to visit our "Idaho Reports" archives, for this 1986 interview, conducted just before he returned to private life. Governor Evans served as Idaho's governor for ten years, from 1977 to 1987. He was especially proud of his efforts to fund education, working to improve Idaho's economy, improving conservation efforts and being an advocate for workers.

His passing has caused prominent Republicans and Democrats to weigh in on what made Evans so special. Governor Otter, who served as Lt. Gov with Evans, said "he always had the best of intentions and was earnest in his love of Idaho. I admired John's willingness to compete in the marketplace of ideas and his ability to keep himself and his office above the day-to-day political fray."

Senator James Risch called Evans "one of the most civil and gentle people I dealt with in the political process… He wasn't up there shaking his fists in people's faces. He was more, 'look, we're all in this together. What can we do to make this work?'"

Former Governor Phil Batt, whom Evans defeated for governor, said of Evans, "he had a great personality and Lola was a nice lady; people liked him and they should have."

Gov. Evans replaced Gov. Cecil Andrus in 1977 when Andrus became U.S. Secretary of Interior. Evans then won two consecutive terms. Andrus called Evans "a good friend, a loyal and talented lieutenant governor to me, a fine and dedicated public official at both the local and the state level and, above all, a genuinely fine man."

Idaho Reports 1986 Evans interview

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