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African-American History Month: Arthur Fletcher

Press photo released when Art Fletcher announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Washington, 1968. General Subjects Photo Collection, 1845-2005.

Arthur Fletcher, born in Arizona in 1924, rose from humble beginnings to become the first African American elected to a city council seat in Washington when he won the election to the Pasco City Council in 1967. In 1968, He challenged the incumbent Lieutenant Governor, John Cherberg, but lost in a close race that garnered the attention of newly elected President Richard Nixon, who appointed him to the position of Assistant Secretary of Labor. Fletcher would go on to serve through four more Republican administrations into the early 1990s. While his accomplishments are too many to detail here, you can read about them in this extensive history of Arthur Fletcher written by John C Hughes, for the Office of the Secretary of State's Legacy Washington.

To view this image and many more, please visit the photographs section of the Washington State Digital Archives.

Written by Frank Oesterheld