Governor Ted Kulongoski doesn’t immediately scream “epic political force,” but consider this: the guv’s January departure after two terms presumably ends a public career that began in 1974. Kulo’s sheer endurance means he’s overlapped with a cosmos of big names over the last four decades. And we’ll live with some of his achievements for a long time. Behold—our departing overlord’s gravitational pull.

WALTER MONDALE

Young Kulo made an odd mini-splash on the national scene in 1980, when eight delegates at the Democratic National Convention voted for Kulongoski as the party’s vice presidential nominee, instead of the incumbent Mondale.

BOB PACKWOOD

Also in ’80, Ted challenged the famed Republican senator—and lost by 8 percentage points, a margin that would cause most politicians to take another look at running for, say, county commissioner.

VIC ATIYEH

In 1982, Kulongoski took on Oregon’s last Republican governor—and got crushed by 25 points, a margin that would have turned most politicians into college professors.

NEIL GOLDSCHMIDT

In 1987, Governor Goldschmidt appointed T.K. to run the state insurance commission. In 2003, Governor Kulongoski appointed Portland’s former boy-wonder mayor to the state higher-ed board.

JOHN KITZHABER

Kulo succeeded Kitz thanks in part to Libertarian Tom Cox, who split the conservative vote in 2002. Kitzhaber then contemplated running against Ted in ’06, but backed down.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

Kulongoski collaborated with the Governator (and former Cimmerian warrior) on a number of significant environmental initiatives—perhaps the last moderate bipartisan cooperation we’ll ever see.

VIETNAM

Kulongoski served as a marine in Southeast Asia.

IRAQ & AFGHANISTAN

By attending scores of military funerals, Kulongoski became a rare politician to focus on modern war’s human cost.

SOLAR & WIND

Requiring the state to get 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025 may prove Kulongoski’s most far-reaching legacy.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Kulongoski helped motor Oregon to the front of the EV pack, securing federal dollars for thousands of charging stations.

ARTS & FILM FUNDING

Kulongoski restored the state’s poet laureate program, steered millions to cultural initiatives, and established key tax incentives to lure film productions to Oregon.

THE BUDGET DEFICIT

Kulongoski’s orders for deep budget cuts this year put him at odds with his union base—foreshadowing the pain necessary to plug the fiscal hole he leaves behind.