Who am I?
I believe we need people to step up and serve their community, and that public service is a high honor and privilege. It was a path I chose early in life. I went to Gonzaga and studied marketing and finance because I wanted to make piles of money. But somewhere along the way, the Jesuit education instilled in me the core value of service to others. That core value is front and center in me in everything I do. I was working at Merrill Lynch out of college in 2000, and about become a stock broker, when I stepped into a campaign office on a lunch break and signed up to volunteer. Two weeks later, I received a job offer to do data entry for next to nothing and I accepted the job without hesitation I knew in my heart that it was the right thing to do and I have never looked back.
I spent three and a half years working as Eastern Washington Director for U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, and up until I left my job to campaign full time, I worked for Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown as her Senior Policy Advisor for the last two regular and five special legislative sessions. I have worked full time on nine campaigns including managing WA State Senator Chris Marrs 2006 campaign where he was elected the first Democrat to win in the 6th Legislative District in Washington since the 1940s. I have spent my career working for elected officials, candidates and progressive issues.
When I first started this work, there were very few young people involved in the local party, so I formed the Spokane County Young Democrats. Through this organization, I helped bring new life and new energy to the local party.
When the party had no form of electronic communication and no database, I gathered data from recent candidates and worked with others to painstakingly compile one comprehensive list, then created a fully integrated online database for the local party. This allowed us to communicate electronically with membership. The foundation of the system is still used today for development and activism.
Importantly, a hard core group of 7-8 Dean meet-up supporters and I helped organized bringing Howard Dean to Spokane on his Sleepless Summer Tour where he spoke to a packed crowd. It was so energizing to have helped put Spokane on a list of stops with New York, Chicago and Seattle. Copy and paste the link below in your browser to see one of the highlights of my involvement in politics and a much younger version of myself.
I am a husband and father of one, and my wife and I are lifelong Spokane residents. I have served our community as a City Planning Commissioner, a Board Member of Daybreak Youth Services, Rotarian, Big Brother, YMCA volunteer and much more. Amanda and I are raising our family here because we love Spokane and believe in our citys potential.
Why am I running?
I am running because Spokane needs strong, experienced leaders in Olympia who understand how to get results. I have learned how to get results for Spokane working as Eastern Washington Director to U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell and Senior Policy Advisor to State Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown. I have experience in creating jobs, investing in our schools and protecting our most vulnerable citizens at the state level. I am confident I will hit the ground running for Spokane in the Legislature.
I have worked with regional leaders to expand our aerospace industry, invest in the Riverpoint Campus, and will continue to focus on important projects like bringing a four year medical school to Spokane. In the State House, I will continue to fight for our local economy and stand up for Spokane jobs and families. And I will continue my work to protect our uniquely Spokane programs like Crosswalk; the Guild School; and Sallys House at the Salvation Army.
I know my experience has prepared me to partner effectively with diverse interests and that I have the skills to produce real results for our region.
My wife Amanda and I were born and raised in Spokane, and we love our wonderful community. At the end of the month our son Brayden will turn two, and we want him not just have the same opportunities we have had we want him and his generation to be able to have even more opportunities to succeed. Central to that is a good education.
As the son of an elementary teacher, and husband of a school counselor, I know we have a responsibility to fully fund K-12 education and I will stand up for our educators. Educators need the resources and tools to be successful in the classroom. I will be a strong advocate for our community colleges, career and technical education, expanded higher education opportunities and will fight the rising cost of tuition.
Spokane is a great place to raise a family, but too many are struggling in tough times. I will never turn away from the needs of seniors, kids, crime victims and low income individuals.
The only thing thats going to end the current recession and get our state back on the right economic track again is a dramatic increase in the number of people with jobs. I will work hard to help craft policy initiatives that will focus on putting men and women back to work! Government absolutely has a hand in helping with creating jobs.
I will be a strong voice for protecting fundamental rights of women, and stand up for equality. Further, quality of life cant just be our tagline, our environment is a barometer of the overall health of our community. I will work to ensure the environmental policies are put in place that will match our words with action for Braydens generation and future generationsand that it includes a continued focus on the clean up of our Spokane river!
Ill ensure our communitys core values are represented in Olympiafamily wage jobs, help for small business, great neighborhood schools and support for our families.
Fully Funding Education: As the son of an elementary teacher, and husband of a school counselor, I know we have a responsibility to fully fund K-12 education and I will stand up for our educators. Educators need the resources and tools to be successful in the classroom. I will be a strong advocate for our community colleges, career and technical education, expanded higher education opportunities and will fight the rising cost of tuition. To do this we must find new revenue by closing tax loopholes and find other sources of new sustainable revenue to ensure the state is maintaining and enhancing our education system.
Job Creation: The third district has been hit hard by unemployment and underemployment. The only thing thats going to end the current recession and get our state back on the right economic track again is a dramatic increase in the number of people with jobs. I will continue to focus on important projects like bringing a medical school to Spokane and expanding our health sciences and bio research. Many local residents are surprised to know we have over 80 aerospace sub-contractors in the region, I will work hard to help continue the expansion the aerospace industry and the good paying family wage jobs that go along with them.
My DFA Values
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My Campaign is People Powered!
1-Engaging the young and young at heart!
I have always viewed young voters as a critical part of the process. In 2003 there were very few young people involved in the party in my area, so I reconstituted the Spokane County Young Democrats. I helped bring new life and new energy to our local party. I was a founding board member of the Washington Bus whose mission is to engage young voters and empower youth through education, civic and cultural engagement, and hands-on democracy. I am running a high energy campaign that will bring younger people into significant roles so they can help us succeed, but also develop the skills and tools to help other candidates, and prepare them for future roles as campaign staff, community leaders, public policy makers and so much more. I have always had a strong interest in encouraging young people develop a passion for government and the democratic process. Young people are not just around to help set the table for those more seasoned in age, they deserve a seat at the table. Young voters should not have to fight to be heard. We need their energy, ideas, work ethic, and leadership. They will not only have a seat at the table in our campaign but will help drive the execution. I will deploy them in the implementation of the strategic campaign plan and especially in areas of social media and direct voter contact.
A lot of campaigns worry about the risk of too many people having access to important data and technological information and therefore centralize it and get overwhelmed by the upkeep. Information management is key to victory and is how the campaign can bring more supporters in the fold and target undecided voters. People have jobs, have to take kids to soccer practice and a host of other important things to do, but they still want to help my campaign out. We will be using a more open system of data collection and upkeep via the web. You want to help do data entry of the campaigns walk or phone lists in you pajamas at 2am from the comfort of your own home? We are making that happen, and the person will help the campaign out tremendously on their own time frame.