The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

By Diana Zimmerman
Wah. Co. Eagle 

Dan Bigelow seeks re-election as prosecutor


September 11, 2014

With nearly two terms of prosecuting attorney under his belt, the lone candidate and incumbent, Dan Bigelow, is ready for another four years in the office.

Bigelow went to high school in Lacey, studied philosophy at the University of Washington and got his law degree at the University of Puget Sound.

"I got a degree in something I was interested in because I knew where I was going afterwards," he said."Straight into law school."

After he graduated, Bigelow worked for the UPS law library for a couple years and interned at the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. Eventually the association hired him. Then it was off to Ferry County where he worked as the deputy prosecuting attorney.

"I was there for one calendar year when one of their three gold mines closed down," Bigelow said. "Tax revenue went down, and my position was cut."

Wahkiakum County came into focus when his uncle Bill Faubion offered him a position in his general practice firm. All his work and study in prosecution was set aside as he began to focus on other aspects of the law.

"I did criminal defense, appellate defense, and municipal law," Bigelow said. "I handled boundary disputes and dissolutions. We took everything that walked through the door."

"I took a real interest in appellate defense," he continued. "For a while the Office of Public Defense was hiring me to do a lot of appeals for southwest Washington. They even started flying me into Division III, to do appeals for eastern Washington.

He spent one year working as Deputy Prosecutor for Fred Johnson, a man he greatly admires. When Johnson stepped down, Bigelow stepped up. He was glad to get back to the work for which he had trained.

"I've always loved prosecution," he said. "The idea of helping people and doing good appeals to me. You can feel the good you are doing. My first job was as prosecutor and when this job came open I wanted to get back in."

Prosecuting criminals is only one aspect of the job. He is the county's attorney, advising and handling civil matters for many entities and offices.

"This is mostly a reactive job," Bigelow said. "How would I have known a couple of years ago that one of the biggest accomplishments of this term would be to carry through the biosolids case to its conclusion? That case did not come because I planned it. It happened and I was there catching. Now it's one of the things that has defined my career."

The next big quandary is unknown and surely on the horizon. He says he's ready to take it on, just as he has done in the past with identity theft, the county's ownership of Johnson Park, and a corruption case in Cowlitz County.

"I want to continue our various traditions of being progressive on domestic violence," Bigelow said. "I want to continue being aggressive yet gentlemanly in our criminal prosecutions. I want to continue to give great civil advice and put more energy into the neglected part of this job, the coroner work, which my EMT skills have made easier."

Bigelow lives in Wahkiakum County with a wife and child. He has been a volunteer EMT and firefighter for 20 years.


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