- Candidate Name: Eric LeMay
- Position Sought: WA-CD10 (Non-incumbent)
- Home Legislative District: 2
- Democrat: Yes
- Manager or Point of Contact: Eric LeMay
- Address: P.O. Box 446, Graham, WA 98338
- Website: www.lemayforcongress.com
- Email: Non-incumbent
Part I – Candidate Background
1. Please briefly describe your qualifications, education, employment, community and civic activity, union affiliation, prior political activity, and other relevant experience.
Hi! I’m Eric LeMay. I was born and raised in Spanaway/Elk Plain, graduated from Bethel High School and my daughter graduated from Graham-Kapowsin High School. I have attended Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts, and I have two degrees from Emerson College in Boston in Political Communications and Speech Pathology.
I have worked in communications at Boeing in the 777 program when it was launched; for King County in the Executive office as internal communications manager for the County-Metro merger; a journalist at the Tacoma News Tribune, the Boston Globe and the Seattle P-I; as marketing director for Callison Architecture in Seattle; as founding director of LeMay-America’s Car Museum; and I own two small businesses involved in car cleaning products.
I was one of the founding members of the Bethel School District Foundation. I have also served five years as the president of Shady Acres Inc., one of the only only airports in Washington state run as a corporate entity.
The only union I’ve ever belonged to is the Boston Journalism Guild. But as the former owners of Harold LeMay Enterprises, one of the largest private recycling and waste service providers in America, I come from a family that has had decades of good relations with unions and I’m familiar with them and support them.
2. What prompted you to run for this office? What are your campaign’s most important themes, issues, or priorities (three to five)?
I am the best liaison you could elect to Washington D.C. from the South Puget Sound. I was born here, I was raised here, and I came back here after college. In the meantime, I have travelled to almost every continent for work (my uncle reports that his trip to Antartica was nice, and Im jealous), and I’ve been to all 50 states. I have a very global perspective with a Spanaway vibe.
On top of that, I think I’m the only candidate in my district to have worked in Pierce, King, Thurston and Mason counties.
Congresspeople, especially freshman ones from an open seat, aren’t executives. They are communicators that are comfortable with themselves and the variants of the entire region. I’m the candidate that not only can listen you, but best help bring federal money to you local elected officials to carry out your priorities. No one elected to this position is going to be a change agent, but we can be an agent for change.
I’m running with education reforms as my top priority. My dad was a teacher. I think less emphasis should be put on using federal money into a standardized testing format and more money should be put into vocational training and the arts. This is the biggest thing that my decades as a museum professional has taught me. The curriculums are to rigidly weighted towards standardized testing and we’re leaving children behind because there isnt the time for skills training and the arts. I believe this should be a federal mandate.
We have a globally warming problem. But I have a well water problem where farms are getting concreted over and our nitrates are being replaced with pollutants. Cow poop is being replaced with human toxins. As your congressman, I cant have much sway over local development, but I can understand EPA issues that might shape how we develop the South Sound.
Finally, my mom was an emergency room nurse ad a social healthcare provider in Pierce County. There are going to be giant debates about healthcare and paying for it. But I’m particularly concerned about access to that healthcare. Not only for you and me, but people with drug and mental health issues.
3. What steps are you taking to run a successful campaign?
(1) Being the same Pierce County Democrat I’ve been since being a state delegate in the 1988 POTUS election at 17 years old. My ideas and priorities might have changed in 40 years, but my basic ethos hasn’t budged. I’m a moderate democrat that leans a little more R on some issues regarding guns and property rights.
(2) I show up everyplace that invites me and I listen to everyone. In fact, I relish listening to everyone.
(3) I have changed midstream in how I talk about some issues as the campaign has progressed. There are people out there who have better ways of talking about some issues, and I’m not afraid to adapt my own thinking when people more knowledgeable than me, or more experienced, restate them better than me.
Part II – Local and State Issues
1. Do you support Initiative Measure No. 940 (“De-escalate Washington,” requiring, among other things, that law enforcement officers be required to obtain violence de-escalation and mental health training, so that officers will have greater skills to resolve conflicts without the use of physical or deadly force)?
Can I say “Yes…but No”? I am a huge believer in training every authority how to de-escalate anything. But I also think that its asking too much on a police-first system that our cops become any type of mental health response experts. I like that they get the training, but there is a better answer: Don’t make them be on the front lines so much as first responders when mental health crises arise.
2. Do you support the right of public workers, excluding military, to bargain and strike?
I grew up with a family running one of the largest recycling and solid waste systems in America. They were union. Not one strike or labor disruption in 70 years. And that was because we bargained. A lot. And that is a fundamental value to me.
3. Would you support a statewide “Ban the Box” law, prohibiting employers from asking about job applicants’ criminal history until after an initial screening or interview?
Can’t employers just run criminal background checks f they’re so concerned? I support the law, but I’m not sure its answering the correct problem.
4. Do you support legislation that reimburses the cost of reproductive health care services, such as SB 6105, the Reproductive Health Access for All Act?
Yes. And always. No hesitation or explanation necessary.
5. Would you support an automatic voter registration act such as HB 2595 (Automatic Voter Registration Act of 2018), streamlining procedures in order to automatically register citizens to vote?
I love the way we vote in Washington state. If it cost $20 billion dollars, I would vote to make vote-by-mail a national system. But the key will always be giving the greatest number of people the opportunity to vote, the actual franchise, as easily as possible.
6. Would you support a bill that would enable the state of WA to create a single health financing entity to provide health care financing for all Washington residents, independent from employment, such as the WA Apple Care Trust?
I’m Medicare for all first at this point. But this is such an intriguing option to me as a small business owner and someone who has been self-insured under Obamacare for nearly a decade.
My feeling is that the healthy have to protect the ill. I think it’s in the book of Luke where Jesus leaves 99 sheep to chase down one stray because the 99 can take care of themselves, but the one sheep is in danger (if I mangled the exact story, forgive me…I’m not particularly bible smart). The point being that this is what we should all strive for to keep a flock whole.
Part III – Free Response
1. Why are you running as a Democrat? What aspects of the Democratic platform most resonate with you?
I’ve been a democrat my entire life. I believe in the idea that government plays a role in all of our lives, but it can also prevent the loss of life and save lives. I’m not for unchecked government, I have just always been very comfortable with the democratic party not seeing that any member of the flock “deserves” being left behind.
2. In the past, many Democrat-sponsored bills have died in the Republican-controlled Senate. Please list three failed bills from the past legislative session that you will champion when elected.
I’m doing this off the top of my head on a deadline, but I think the “For the People Act” which had to do with voter registration and ballot accessibility is one; “The American Dream Act” is another (the SCOTUS decision was fine and all, but those people don’t really have protection until it become law; and, this still blows me away it got stuck, the “Violence Against Women Act” needs to be reauthorized.
3. What important state and local issues have you worked on (or taken an interest in) that you feel aren’t getting enough attention from elected leaders and the media?
Hands down the massacre of arts and vocational training in elementary through high school. We are losing a generation of creativity and trade skills because of the damage done through a rigid standardized testing curriculum.
4. Do you think Washington public schools are adequately funded? If not, what minimum requirements should be met in an adequately funded public school system? What specific forms of taxation would you support to attain that funding?
I actually am not sure that schools are ‘underfunded,” generally, but I do think that local districts should be able to pass bonds and levies with a simple majority.
5. What are some obstacles inherent in proposed legislative solutions to climate change? How would you approach those obstacles in order to best overcome or minimize any negative effects?
I’m going to sound like I’m punting here, and I am in a way: I’m not sure, other than strengthening the Clean Air Act and other existing EPA-type laws through executive actions, there is a giant boulder that can be moved at this point on the legislative side. I’m just being frank.
I have a lot of automotive background and, frankly, I think all the automakers should be run through the ringer about why alternative fuels aren’t standard and I want to know exactly what the hell they are wasting time and money on right now using fossil fuels. The inherent obstacle is that people don’t understand how easy the alternatives are available. It’s insane that we haven’t done a better job of moving the automotive industry farther forward the past 40 years.
6. What are some obstacles inherent in proposed approaches to tax reform in Washington State? How would you approach those obstacles in order to best overcome or minimize any negative effects?
I don’t mind taxes. I think taxes are good and important. As a congressperson, how jurisdictions spend their taxes is where I have thoughts, questions and, sometimes, concerns. Nobody got rich, or lived a better life, because they could walk up and down the sidewalks bragging that they paid less taxes.
That said, I think the fairest tax is a straight annual income tax with large breaks for those that contribute to non-profits or invest in their business. But I think the money you earn, you personally take home should have a tithe attached to it.
7. Do you support the voter-approved call for a Constitutional Amendment to overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision (I-735), and if so, how do you propose to work toward that goal?
Most ridiculous ruling SCOTUS has done in my lifetime (and I think even the Chief Justice has some seller’s remorse if you read some of his other decisions). I’m not sure there is any answer here other than the sheer will of electing a Congress, Senate and POTUS that makes it a priority as top-of-mind legislation in states across the nation. I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer, but this one is going to be tough and I’m not sure it will be a high enough priority anytime soon. It’s going to have to come out of 38 state legislatures, and it needs about 30 of them right out of the bat…and then it might still be like the 27th Amendment and take 202 years to get the final eight states.
By typing my name below, I declare under penalty of perjury the foregoing is true and correct.
Printed Name: Eric LeMay