Former Idaho governor Cecil Andrus passes away at 85

Idaho

BOISE — Cecil Andrus, the longest serving governor in Idaho, passed away late Thursday just a day before his 86th birthday.

The Idaho Statesman reports the former Democratic governor died of complications from lung cancer, according to family spokeswoman Tracy Andrus.

Andrus began serving as governor of Idaho in 1970. He became Idaho’s first presidential cabinet member when President Jimmy Carter recruited him as Interior secretary from 1977 to 1981. He would serve as Idaho governor again from 1987 to 1995. In total he served four terms in office. The 23,908 acre Cecil D. Andrus Wildlife Management Area in Washington County was named in his honor.

Andrus keep busy during his retirement with non-profit efforts that he led through the Andrus Center for Public Policy which he founded at Boise State University in 1995.

On Friday, several state politicians and federal entities released statements about his death.

“Governor Andrus was a dynamic and effective leader who knew how to wield authority and get things done for Idaho, and for the nation,” Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) said in a statement. “His leadership and sense of purpose as a public servant were demonstrated repeatedly during his long career in public service. He earned my respect, and I count him as a friend. He will be forever remembered as a leader of great accomplishment. I send my heartfelt sympathies to his family as they, along with Idaho, mourn his passing.”

The Idaho Democratic Party issued this statement:

“It is with deep sadness that we hear of the passing of former governor Cecil Andrus. He was a true Idahoan, statesman, and champion of Democratic ideals. We aspire to be like him and work to continue his legacy in Idaho. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.”

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