Governor Cecil D. Andrus Passes Away

A remarkable and influential leader, Governor Cecil Andrus was a true public servant. He was an authentic and dignified statesman and even when serving in the highest offices of our nation, he remained an Idaho outdoorsman, a neighbor, and a friend. A giant of a man, Governor Andrus was Idaho’s longest serving governor and leaves behind a legacy that Idahoans will forever cherish. His practical, sincere, and kind-hearted leadership will be truly missed.

Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Bert Marley offered condolences to the Governor’s family and fellow Idaho Democrats.

“Governor Andrus was an inspiration to me. As a candidate and a legislator, he was always available for advice and support. He was the honorary chairman of my campaign when I ran for Superintendent of Public Instruction and was someone who I could always turn to. Governor Andrus was continuously supportive of the work we did to try to improve the lives of all Idahoans.”

Our prayers are with Carol and all of the Andrus family members.

cecil andrus idaho democrats

Statements from Idaho Democratic Leaders:

“Idaho lost a giant this week. The impact he had on Idaho in terms of protecting the state’s natural beauty, investing in education and fighting for the future of rural Idahoans has not been matched since. Personally, I have lost a mentor and friend whose influence on my life and career cannot be overstated.” — Rep. Mat Erpelding


“He was as strong as he was compassionate and he wanted nothing more than to see Idahoans from all walks of life succeed. Governor Andrus’ brand of leadership comes around once in a generation. Today is a sad day for all Idahoans.” — Sen. Michelle Stennett


“It is with a heavy heart and great admiration I honor the life of Idaho icon, Cecil D. Andrus who passed away this afternoon.

A Renaissance man indeed, he served as Idaho Governor for 14 years, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, and was a nationally known conservationist, dedicated to the preservation of the environment. He was the real deal! The consummate gentlemen, he epitomized leadership, citizenship and great love for family, friends and the people of Idaho. We will miss you, Governor.” — Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb


“Feeling sad to lose such a legend and fortunate for the handful of opportunities to meet Gov. Andrus. He let me interrupt his preparation for his speech for Concordia Law’s first graduation for this photo op. He was always kind and generous with his time even though so many always wanted a moment of his time. Grateful to have crossed paths with this gentleman.” — Rep. John McCrostie


“When you look at Governor Andrus’ record of public service and the impact he had on Idaho, it’s easy to see why he is considered by many to be Idaho’s greatest governor. Governor Andrus had grit and compassion in equal measure and cared for all Idahoans no matter what their party affiliation or who they voted for. Governor Andrus left an indelible mark on this state that will not soon be forgotten. Every Idahoan lost a friend this week.” — Rep. Paulette Jordan


“Governor Andrus’ memory and his ability to make people feel important was legendary. I first met Governor Andrus over 50 years ago when he was first running for office and stopped by my parents’ home. Of course I remembered, but what surprised me is that he remembered. When Governor Andrus co-hosted an event for me in 2010, he informed everyone he had known me for a very long time. Governor Andrus said, “A stop at the Wards’ home was a must, as I could always count on Eloise and Conley (my parents) for a home cooked meal and a tank of gas.

Idaho and our nation has lost one of the true “greats.” We may never see someone of his caliber again. Not only was he intelligent and charismatic, he was also a dynamic leader who knew how to get things done. He was a tremendous advocate for education and Idahoans. He is a true hero.” — Sen. Janie Ward-Engelking


“I had been working on preschool legislation for five years and I’ll always remember the sage advice from Governor Andrus about getting his kindergarten legislation passed. He said, “Remember, it’s a marathon in order to get it done, so don’t give up!” We lost a great leader and a great friend to Idaho and this country. — Rep. Hy Kloc 


“Education is an opportunity for every child to succeed in life, and no one fought for that opportunity more than Cecil Andrus. From the beginning of his career to the end, he was always there to support K-12 funding that attracted quality teachers and facilities for our kids. I served as a legislator for a term when he was Governor, and his skill and leadership was a key reason why our public school system became a strong one in the 1990’s. Idaho kids and I will miss Cecil Andrus.” — Rep. John Gannon 


“I was so sad to hear of Governor Andrus’ passing. He was as tenacious as he was relentless when it came to protecting our public lands for all Americans to enjoy. On the night of Jan. 19, 1980, in the final hours of his job as Interior Secretary, he held onto his position until the last possible moment in order to sign orders protecting five rivers in California because he knew his successor was not likely to do so. As a result, Andrus added the Eel, Klamath, Trinity, Smith and American Rivers into the national wild and scenic rivers system. It’s that kind of tenacity that served the people of Idaho and America so well for so many years. Thank you, Governor Andrus, and may you rest in peace, sir.” — Rep. Sue Chew 


“Governor Andrus always put Idaho before party affiliation. In doing so, he helped shape a state that was better for everyone. His leadership of this state was unsurpassed. Every Idahoan lost a friend this week with the passing of Cecil Andrus. He will be missed.” — Rep. Elaine Smith 


“Idaho is better because of Gov. Andrus. He was a guy that started out working in the woods, and later when he became the interior secretary for Carter, was in charge of all the woods. I’ve known him over 40 years and he was one of those guys you liked to be around. Those of us who knew him well called him the boss.” — Sen. Mark Nye 


“Cecil Andrus was Idaho’s greatest governor and a champion for all Idahoans regardless of what party they were in. But above all, he was a great human being who served as a mentor and friend to so many people who wanted to make Idaho better through public service. Governor Andrus had a vision for a better Idaho that cut through race, gender or class. He wanted the best for everyone living in this great state and his dedication to that goal did not end once he left the statehouse. Idaho is a little smaller with his passing.” — Rep. Melissa Wintrow

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