Political Party: Republican Party
Education: BA in Economics from Washington State University, Masters of Public Administration in International Development from Harvard University
Spouse: Eleanor Baumgartner- met in Helmand Province, Afghanistan
Date of Birth: December 13, 1975
After my graduation from Harvard University in 2002, I took a job as an economic development advisor in the Office of the Crown Prince of Dubai. Later, in 2003, I was appointed to the position of Vice President, Strategy of i4 Communications and the US investor backed WMPN consortium seeking to fund and license a new telecom network in Saudi Arabia. I independently advised several Saudi business groups before returning to the Northwest to consult to US mining company Hecla on the challenges facing their gold mine in Venezuela from the government of Hugo Chavez.
In 2007, I began serving as an Economics Officer at the US Embassy in Iraq working in the Office of Joint Strategic Planning & Assessment. From 2008 to 2009, I worked as a civilian-contractor employed by Civilian Police International and worked as an Embedded Advisor on a US State Department funded program, supporting a Government of Afghanistan counternarcotics team in the volatile southern province of Helmand, where I met my wife, Eleanor.
In 2010, I ran for Washington State Senate. I won by 7.5% over a well-funded incumbent. Currently, I serve in the state senate on the Ways & Means Committee, the Higher Education Committee, and as Ranking Member on the Economic Development Committee. I also continue to have the honor of advising US military troops to help prepare them for deployment to the Middle East.
Please describe your top 5 priorities if elected United States Senator:
1. We need to restore middle class jobs. This should be done by reining in government interference in the private market and eliminating economy-slowing red tape. Businesses need an environment with less regulation in order to create these jobs.
2. American energy security is a very important issue. When our country depends on foreign oil, it forces us into business with some of the world's worst tyrants. If we increase and diversify American energy supply, it will not only make the world more secure, but it will allow us to adopt a smarter foreign policy.
3. The war in Afghanistan must end. We need to bring our sons and daughters home. We are spending taxpayer dollars and putting our soldiers' lives at risk for a senseless war. We need to adopt a smarter foreign policy and put an end to the violence and massive overspending in Afghanistan.
4. Balancing the budget is necessary to getting our country back on the right track. Our debt is larger than the U.S. economy. We can rein in the deficit by starting with spending. We must look at entitlement reform and getting the rapid growth of the federal government under control.
Obamacare is not the solution to fixing the American healthcare system. Not only is it a tax on the middle class, it is bad policy. It puts the government in the middle of families' most important and private decisions. It must be replaced with something that allows for more competition and flexibility for states; while still expanding access, increasing affordability, and providing safeguards for the most vulnerable.