Reaction to the death of former Gov. Booth Gardner

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — State officials and other react to the death of former Washington state Gov. Booth Gardner.

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"Booth Gardner was one of the great leaders of our state. He served us all with the highest standards and with never-ending humanity." — Gov. Jay Inslee

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"He demonstrated that governing is about the people you serve — and serve with — by learning everyone's name, what issues they cared deeply about, and by taking the time to work with anyone that shared his desire to make Washington state a better place to live. Booth also showed that compromise and compassion were not competing ideals by being pragmatic when he needed to be, but by always working to protect the needs of the most vulnerable." — U.S. Sen. Patty Murray.

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"As Governor he worked tirelessly for the State of Washington, but he also showed that public service doesn't have to be in the Capitol. Despite his considerable health limitations, he led the fight for end-of-life care with courage and vigor. In the end, he ensured the ability to both live a dignified life with access to health care and end life in a dignified way of one's own choosing." — U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott.

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"He was a politician with a personal touch. He also knew how to make everyone in a crowded room feel special." — U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell.

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"Governor Gardner was an amazing man and a great leader with a remarkable ability to connect with people from all walks of life. He truly cared about their future and the future of our state." — Washington state House Speaker Frank Chopp.

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"Booth Gardner will be remembered for many things. He will be remembered for his impish sense of humor and never-failing common touch. He will be remembered as the original turnaround expert for a then-troubled Pierce County government. He will be remembered as a governor who guided an historic amount of progress while never tooting his own horn." — U.S. Rep. Denny Heck.

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"Governor Gardner was a progressive visionary ahead of his time. His leadership helped give us environmental and land-use laws that shaped the successful Washington of today. And he championed gay rights and basic health care access for the poor long before they were popular. also leaves a lasting legacy of nurturing a generation of leaders, including me." — Former Wash. Gov. Chris Gregoire.

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"Booth Garner was one of the most confident, compassionate people I have ever known. Even though he came from great wealth, he had a deep ability to connect with people and they sensed that he truly cared about them." — Ron Dotzauer, Gardner's campaign manager in his first run for governor.

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"Governor Gardner was known as a man who could talk to anyone, because he treated everyone the same way-like a fellow human being. Booth was that rare political leader who was liked by both his allies and his adversaries." — King County Executive Dow Constantine.

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"Booth Gardner was a compassionate and thoughtful man. His strong values of fairness and equality led him in his decades-long work to improve our health care and education systems. Washington State is a better place because of his leadership." Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn

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"It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to one of Pierce County's favorite sons. We have only had five elected executives in Pierce County, and Booth will always occupy an important place in our history. He faced an extraordinary task in setting up the new governance during tumultuous times in our community." — Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy.

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