Mike Lowry wins seat in U.S. House of Representatives on November 7, 1978.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 9/05/2001
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 3538
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On November 7, 1978, King County Councilman Mike Lowry (1939-2017) wins a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives by defeating incumbent Republican Congressman Jack Cunningham. The race is contentious and expensive with both candidates spending several dollars per vote cast. Lowry will represent the 7th District encompassing West Seattle and South King County for the next 10 years.

Jack Cunningham won a special election to the House in May 1977. He accused Lowry of being a big spender and in favor of forced busing of public school students. Lowry attacked Cunningham's conservative views.

In Seattle, political newcomer Norm Rice, a banker and community activist, defeated former city councilman Wayne Larkin (ca. 1927-2009) for city council. The election was to fill the unexpired term of Phyllis Lamphere, who resigned to accept a federal appointment to the Economic Development Administration.

The vote totals were:

7th Congressional District
Mike Lowry (D) - 63,557
Jack Cunningham (R) - 54,984

Seattle City Council
Norm Rice - 86,664
Wayne Larkin - 61,896


Bill Prochnau, "Busing, No; Gay Rights, Yes," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, November 8, 1978, pp. A-1, A-4; Gil Bailey, "Lowry Defeats Cunningham," Ibid., p. A-3; Michael Sweeney, "Norm Rice Upsets Larkin," Ibid., p. A-4.

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