The Outing and Fall of Spokane Mayor Jim West
Robb T from United States
24 May 2007
Jim West was the Mayor of Spokane, Washington (map), a large and
influential city in its particular region. By population, the US
Pacific North-West (PNW) is a moderate-to-liberal place, politically.
But in the larger and less-populated expanse west of the Cascade
Mountains, a much more conservative bent is the norm.
Jim West was a popular, life-time politician, who grew up in this area.
For him, coming out of the closet was unthinkable. People of his
generation, as well as the people in his area, were strict conformists.
If his secret was ever learned, Jim feared it would end many life-long
friendships, disappoint others, and end his beloved career.
As a State Senator and career Republican, he supported and sponsored
the Party's bills -- including several anti-gay rights measures. Many
never had hope of becoming law in this more Libertarian state, but they
did help solidify support within his conservative district. He married
at 39 (to a rather masculine-looking woman, in my opinion). Now in his
50s, he was the esteemed Mayor of the largest city for 300 miles (400
Then one day, the unthinkable happened.
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