Frank `Tub' Hansen, A Spirited Defender Of Farmers In Legislature
AP: Times Staff
Veteran state Sen. Frank "Tub" Hansen of Moses Lake died yesterday in a Seattle hospital at the age of 78.
The cause of death was not immediately available. He had been hospitalized since Dec. 13.
In his almost 20 years in the Legislature, Mr. Hansen became known for his plain speaking and his tenacious defense of Eastern Washington interests - especially agriculture.
When Evergreen Legal Services alleged two years ago that the state Department of Agriculture inadequately investigated pesticides' effects on people, Mr. Hansen, a Senate Agriculture Committee member, said:
"I don't put any confidence in what they say, the bunch of no-good do-gooders."
And Mr. Hansen had a special expression he used when he decided he had to take on a political opponent or state agency on behalf of a favorite cause: "By damn, I'll show `em where the bear run through the buckwheat."
Recently, Mr. Hansen was at the forefront of an issue dear to some of his 13th Legislative District voters.
A retired farmer and cattle rancher, Mr. Hansen planned to fight for so-called "right-to-farm" laws, which seek to protect farmers from civil lawsuits by neighbors bothered by the noises, smells and chemicals that drift from their operations. It was an issue Hansen played up last year, in his final campaign.
"Tub had a very thorough understanding of the agriculture industry and the water and irrigation issues," said Sen. Scott Barr, R-Colville, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
"On agriculture issues," Barr said last night, "partisanship was never an issue with Tub and I."
Mr. Hansen, a Democrat, had a winning touch with the voters. He had represented the 13th Legislative District in both the House and Senate since 1972. He was first elected to the House in 1972 and was re-elected in 1974 and 1976.
He then won election to the Senate in 1978 and was re-elected in 1982, 1986 and 1990. During his tenure in the House, Mr. Hansen served as chairman of the Transportation Committee. He also served as Agriculture Committee chairman in the Senate.
Mr. Hansen was a native of the Moses Lake area.
He was a member of the Grange, the Elks, and the Wheat Growers; he also was a past director of the Washington State Cattleman's Association.
He is survived by his wife Wanda, two sons, Jerry of Tacoma and Tom of Lake Hughes, Calif.; two daughters, Kay Hansen-Dean and Penny Morgan, both of Kennewick; 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Services are pending.
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