Whatever Happened to Governor Evan Mecham?

Evan Mecham

The Arizona Republic reports that former Governor Evan Mecham has been in the care of the Arizona State Veteran Home since 2004. The former governor suffers from Alzheimers disease.

For you political “youngsters,” Evan Mecham was the Governor of Arizona from January ’87 until April ’88 when he was¬†removed from office. For many, he was the last conservative governor of Arizona.

Look for this story to grow as the current governor finds herself in a scandal over Arizona’s mistreatment of veterans.



  1. Mike Triggs says

    He wasn’t just removed from office….he was impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors.

    While he may have been Arizona’s last conservative governor, he was also the last racist governor. Everytime he opened his mouth I have embarassed to say that I was a Mormon.

  2. Keen Observer says

    Governor Mecham was cleared in the criminal proceedings brought against him.

    In 1987, he rescinded the very politically imposed Martin Luther King Day paid holiday for government employees, put into place by the outgoing Democrat Governor, Bruce Babbitt. The holiday had previously been voted down by the citizen’s of the state of AZ twice. Calling Mecham a “racist” is blatantly false. He determined that the costs involved in a paid weekday holiday were prohibitive and opted instead to declare a Sunday observance for MLK, noting that King, a minister, would have found that acceptable.

    Mecham was the object of one political hatchet job after another. Although he did, in fact, speak intemperately at times, his administration was fiscally responsible and he adhered to his campaign promises–the very promises that got him elected initially. His major problems arose from taking on the establishment and special interest power brokers. There was a full-court press to remove him from office from the day he walked onto the ninth floor of the Capitol Tower. A homosexual activist named Ed Buck began a recall drive. A politically motivated impeachment on trumped up charges, which ultimately resulted in the expulsion of numerous legislators, was also brought against him.

    Evan Mecham was a WWII fighter pilot and war hero, a successful businessman, devoted to his family and a church leader. He also served in the Arizona state legislature.

    The only thing you have to be embarrassed about, Mr. Triggs, is your own poor sentence construction, misspellings and deliverance of misinformation. Let Governor Mecham and his family finally have some peace in his declining years.

  3. Evan Mecham, unfortunately, was not politically astute enough to stay out of political trouble. He was too honest to be able to deal with the wolves at the door.

    And, yes, he sometimes inserted his foot in his mouth.

    I met him at a Republican Club luncheon and bought his book. He is a very sweet man and I am very soory to hear of his illness. God Bless him and his family.

  4. cactusmouse1 says

    Well put, Keen Observer. That’s EXACTLY the way I remember it too.

  5. Hometown Guy says


    You might also remember that the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette were continually salivating for juicy tidbits to hang around Gov. Mecham’s neck. If they couldn’t find them, they manufactured them.

    Saying, “The Phoenix newspaper monopoly has had my political destruction as its goal for many years,” Mecham actually started his own newspaper, The Evening American.

    How nice a conservative option would be today!

  6. Gordon Brown says

    Dittos Keen Observer, Governor Mecham did what Bob Corbin as Attorney General failed to do, his job.

  7. Argh! I wish you only knew…..

    Anyone who would speak disrespectfully about Governor Mecham is truly a follower and definately without any understanding of Arizona politics. I learned more there from some pretty amazingly cruel political people than I ever want to remember, and it WASN’T GOVERNOR MECHAM’S PEOPLE!

    Governor Mecham cared about the Constituents of Arizona, he truly did. He did more good for the people of Arizona in the short time he was in office than most of them have done in their full term. You have no idea about how everthing he was attacked for was miscostrued and orchestrated. You cast your stones, they’re nothing but empty useless persecutions. I worked there. I wasn’t morman, or anything else you might call me. I wasn’t even a Republican when I started working there. I saw that man drug through more horrible things and he had us stand strong and continue to work for the Constituents “The People”. I saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears the good that man did, while your Babbit people came back to steal the stage and sabbotage our whole state; and yes sir they did. Governor Mecham simply wanted the system set forth to work for our state and for our state to be law abiding. Amazing how easy it is to jump on a band wagon. Stand up for something right in your life and see the real world you live in.

    Just my understanding….UH..since I was there.

    I will always have Respect for Governor Mecham, he and his wife and family are very good and decent people.

    Jan, 4th Generation AZ

  8. Dr. Bob Cosby says

    By 1986, I had become so disillusioned with politics in the country as a whole and in Arizona specifically, that I paid little attention to the election that year. I was, in fact, out of the State when the election took place but upon my return was told by a friend that “one of us” (a constitutionalist) had been been elected as Governor. My reply was, “No way! Why if a constitutionalist were to be elected as governor, he wouldn’t last a year!”

    I am a Baptist and theologically have no respect for the tenets of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, etc. but found Governor Mecham to be of greater understanding of the purpose of government than most Baptist preachers. Morally, his life was one one of impeccable character. I had the privilege of introducing him to the national crowd gathered for his announcement of his running for re-election after the impeachment and I commented said at that time, and I still believe, that most preachers would not be able to withstand the amount of moral scrutiny that Evan Mecham withstood by the hostile press.

    I had the privilege of being his campaign manager for Cochise County in 1990 and had the opportunity to spend personal time with him and there is no question that Evan Mecham was a great statesman and a great American. I take great personal satisfaction in the fact that the only county he won in the election of 1990, was Cochise County.

    The political assassination of Evan Mecham is an indictment only against the people and political machines of Arizona. Time has vindicated him and condemned his attackers. With the tremendous lesbian influence in the State government of Arizona since 1990, there can be no doubt that the people have gotten what they deserve.

  9. Evan Mecham was a bigot whose mouth ran faster than his brain. Whether or not he would have been good for Arizona, the truth of the matter is that he alienated more people by what he said than what he did.

  10. Mr. Liebmann, Sounds more like you fit the description of a bigot who runs their mouth faster than his brain. Oh, and you’re an idiot who happens to not have a clue about what you’re talking about. Apparently, your mistaking Governor Mecham for yourself….There is a phycological name for your condition.


  11. Joanne Eeds says

    I met Gov. Mecham several years ago & saw a man of compassion & love for Arizona. He was railroaded. No one gave him a chance. The Phoenix 40 were after him from the first. Maybe this is what caused his declline in health. For shame.
    He was a GOOD man.

  12. Rocket Scientist says

    “…which ultimately resulted in the expulsion of numerous legislators,”

    This was AZSCAM. Search for it on Google and learn some of our fine history.

    Governor Mecham was the best governor since Governor Jack Williams, arguably better if he had been given a chance to serve out his term. He also was the one who freed us from the Carter imposed 55 mile/hour speed limit.

    Isn’t it interesting what happens to good governors in this state!

  13. Cary from New Mexico says

    I didn’t live in Arizona at the time Evan Mecham was governor, however, I did eventually move to Arizona and lived there for 10 years.

    The words of Evan Mecham, the opinions of folks in the northwestern part of Arizona, and assesments of Evan Mecham’s character and personality since his governorship lead me to believe that Mecham was, and is, one of the finest men to hold the governorship in that state. His unwillingness to bend his beliefs for mere political expediency, and his strict adherence to Constitutional standards leads me to the conclusion that was prevelent in the early 1990’s by Arizonans: Evan Mecham was railroaded, slandered, libeled, and eventually overthrown by a political cabal that was intent on holding Arizona’s political power for their very own, and indeed holds that power to this very day.

    In the words of an elderly man from Dolan Springs, Arizona, who has now passed: “The people of Arizona lost the day Evan Mecham was removed from office”.

    There’s a reason my 10 year old son is named Evan.

  14. Willie Lopez says

    I was living in Arizona during the time that Governor Mecham was governor. No public servent should be put through so much persecution and false charges. It made me very sad to witness so much animosity against a person who had only our best interest in mind. Like the song says, “this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.”

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