John Spellman, Republican Governor of Washington State from 1980 to 1984, was elected by defeating Democrat Dixy Lee Ray–a pro-nuclear energy advocate. His one and only term as governor coincided with the first term of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, during which Governor Spellman was exposed to intense pressure from the federal government and the oil industry.
As John C. Hughes reports in the first of a series on Governor Spellman’s rendezvous with Puget Sound’s destiny, that destiny called on Spellman’s courage and integrity to stand up to extreme pressure to overturn an Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council decision, thus denying permission to build a 22-mile oil pipeline under Puget Sound. In the end, Spellman chose to uphold the law, and in so doing deny himself another term.
Politicians, let alone Republicans, like that are few and far between.