Celebration launches book about late U.S. Rep. Jennifer Dunn

January 11, 2013

By Staff

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 11, 2013

Leaders plan to gather in Newcastle on Saturday to honor the late Jennifer Dunn, a long-serving representative in Congress for Issaquah and other Eastside communities.

The occasion is the release of “A Woman First: The Impact of Jennifer Dunn” — a book about the trailblazing Republican’s career, life and legacy.

“Jennifer Dunn was a true trailblazer in Washington politics,” Secretary of State Sam Reed said in a statement. “Whether it was becoming Washington’s first female Republican Party chair or attaining a high leadership position in Congress, she reached impressive heights during her career.”

The book launch event is scheduled for 3-5 p.m. Jan. 13 at The Golf Club at Newcastle, 15500 Six Penny Lane. The scheduled speakers include Reed, former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton, and radio talk show host and onetime gubernatorial candidate John Carlson.

The author of “A Woman First: The Impact of Jennifer Dunn” is Trova Heffernan, director of The Legacy Project, a state oral history program established in 2008.

The biography is the latest in a series on some of Washington’s most influential residents. “A Woman First: The Impact of Jennifer Dunn” is available as a hardcover book form for $25 or free online. (The book was printed with private funds.)

Dunn represented Issaquah and the 8th Congressional District in Washington, D.C., for 12 years between 1993 and 2005, but died unexpectedly in 2007.

“Jennifer was a dedicated public official who served with class, civility and decency,” Reed said. “Jennifer served our state well in Congress, and she was respected by Republicans and Democrats alike. This new book paints a vivid picture of Jennifer’s career as well as her interest in women’s rights issues.”

Dunn made history as the first woman to lead the Washington State Republican Party, and later secured a seat in Congress in 1992’s Year of the Woman.

In Congress, Dunn served as the fifth woman to sit on the powerful House Ways & Means Committee, as the third woman in history to serve as vice chairwoman of the House Republican Conference and first woman to run for House majority leader.

Dunn’s son is King County Councilman Reagan Dunn, the representative for Newcastle, areas south of Issaquah and Southeast King County.

“A Woman First: The Impact of Jennifer Dunn” is The Legacy Project’s eighth printed book. Other biographies chronicled former Gov. Booth Gardner, Gorton and American Indian activist Billy Frank Jr.

The program also has produced oral histories on astronaut and Issaquah resident Bonnie Dunbar, Nirvana rocker-turned-political-activist Krist Novoselic and state Supreme Court justices.

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