Gordon Walgren: Close to the Flame

For more than half a century, Gordon Walgren has been a major player in Kitsap County politics.

At 25, he won election as county prosecutor. It looked as though his political future was dead after he lost a notorious case. It didn’t help that he was romantically involved with the accused’s mistress. Then opportunity knocked and Walgren quickly re-climbed the political ladder. By 1975 he was Senate majority leader. Five years later, he was clearly ticketed for statewide office, attorney general and then, who knows? It all came undone as a result of Gamscam, an FBI sting that ensnared Walgren, the speaker of the house and a lobbyist. Charged with racketeering, he was accused of conspiring with men they believed were mobsters to loosen state gambling laws. The case against Walgren was the thinnest, but a jury convicted him, spending two years in a federal prison. He never admitted guilt and never stopped fighting to clear his name.

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Gordon and Peter appear on TVW's Inside Olympia with host Austin Jenkins to talk about Close to the Flame.

Media on "Close to the Flame"

Article in the Seattle Times

Article in the Kitsap Sun

Written with award-winning journalist, Peter Lewis

Peter's 29-year career with the Seattle Times included coverage of cops, courts, politics, personal technology and consumer affairs. He first met Gordon Walgren in January 2012. They were introduced by John Hughes, chief oral historian for the Washington Secretary of State's office. This is Lewis’ first book.

Contact Peter