Early Life Edit
Caldwell was born Anne Rose Murphy in Seattle on June 2, 1953, a second generation Washingtonian she is the only child of Irish-American catholics, Frank and Rose Murphy (née Lynch) Her mother worked as an accountant. Her father was a WWII Navy veteran before retiring and becoming a football coach at Garfield High School. Anne Caldwell started working at the age of 16 as a waitress. She graduated the Ingraham High School, before attending the University of Washington where she earned her J.D.
According to Caldwell, her keen interest in healthcare reform and, particularly, veteran's issues - often considered to be her two signature policies - originated in her early life when her father struggled with poor health, a result of his war service.
Washington House of Representatives Edit
Anne Caldwell was first elected to the Washington House of Representatives in 1982 at the age of 29. An extensive door-knocking effort was an important part of her campaign. Her campaign drew attention for her passionate, grassroots support. She would serve as a Member of the Washington House of Representatives until 1989.
U.S. House of Representatives Edit
1988 House election Edit
In 1988 Jim Highry, the five-term Representative for Washington's 7th Congressional district, decided not to seek re-election choosing to run for the U.S. Senate instead, unsuccessfully. She endorsed a number of pieces of legislation over the course of her campaign, most notably the Department of Veterans Affairs Act. Caldwell ran for the seat winning with 72% of the vote. She would serve as Representative until 2012 when she decided to run for the Governorship.
House Tenure Edit
During her tenure as Representative Caldwell distinguished herself as a progressive politician having supported the Clifford healthcare plan of 1993, the Brady Bill, as well as opposing the Patriot Act and the War in Iraq. She also fought for the Violence Against Women Act. In her latter years in the House she voiced her support for banking reform and was an early advocate for the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. On 13 November 2011 she announced she would not be seeking re-election, deciding to run for the Governor of Washington.
Governor of Washington Edit
2012 Washington gubernatorial election Edit
Caldwell faced an uphill battle in the gubernatorial election, especially during it's early stages when her opponents tried to accuse her of "playing (or being) a broken record". This coupled with the Democratic vote being fairly evenly split in early polling created a real threat of a Republican winning the blanket primary. Using her strong ground game Caldwell was able to gain an advantage over her strongest Democratic challenger in subsequent months, leading to him dropping out and endorsing her. Caldwell eventually emerged victorious from the blanket primary facing a number of Republican and Independent candidates as well as one Democratic challenger winning 46% of the vote. In the general election she faced off against Republican Gary Ferguson. Polling indicated a close race and the Republican opponent would not concede the election until the evening after it took place. Caldwell became the third woman in the history of the State of Washington and second in a row to serve as Governor.
First term Edit
Anne Caldwell won the governor's mansion on a liberal platform. Before being elected she campaigned for the legalization of same-sex marriage and urged the voters to approve Senate Bill 6239 in a state-wide referendum. During her first term as Governor she faced a divided state legislature with a Republican controlled Senate and Democratic-controlled House which failed to pass a budget in early 2013. After a long battle Caldwell signed a bipartisan budget in June 2013. In August 2013 Caldwell issued a moratorium on capital punishment in which she expressed her opposition to the practice. She attempted to ban the practice, but was blocked by the Republican-controlled Senate. The practice would be eventually abolished on October 11, 2018 by a ruling of the state Supreme Court.
Re-election and second term Edit
Caldwell won re-election in 2016 with 55% of the vote. During her second term she shifted her focus towards education and environment. Using public pressure Caldwell was able to avoid a partial shutdown of state government and secured funding for free meals for children in public schools. After securing a Democratic majority in both chambers of state legislature in late 2017, Caldwell led the effort to pass a bill that vacated and expunged past marijuana convictions. In 2018 she signed an executive order that prohibited the usage of solitary confinement for youth. In late 2018 Caldwell signed a bill that outlined the reduction of carbon emissons over the next 20 years that included greater investment in green energy and infrastructure for electric cars.
Caldwell served as the chair of the Democratic Governors Association during the 2018 midterm cycle during which Democrats gained 7 governorships nation wide.
2020 presidential campaign Edit
Caldwell was considered a potential candidate for the Democratic nomination for the office of President, particularly due to her actions in late 2018.
Caldwell officially established her exploratory committee in January 2019, before announcing her candidacy on February 6, 2019 during a political rally in Seattle, Washington. She held her first campaign rally in Iowa on Februrary 17, 2019.
Personal life Edit
Murphy met her future husband Henry O. Caldwell, then a college basketball player, during her time at the UW. He would later on become an environmental advocate. The two have three children: two daughters, Maria and Patricia, and one son, John.