By JOSH KELETY | WNPA Olympia News Bureau
OLYMPIA — State Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, told reporters Jan. 8 that he won’t be taking a job with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as reported Jan. 5 in The Bellingham Herald.
“I’m not taking a job at the EPA. That is not accurate,” he said.
Ericksen would not confirm nor deny to The Bellingham Herald on Jan. 5 that he had accepted a position at EPA.
From January through May, Ericksen worked for the Trump administration as communications director for the EPA’s transition team, while serving as a state senator. He worked for EPA on a short-term contract. Working for EPA while serving as a state senator prompted a recall effort from disgruntled constituents, but the recall was ultimately dismissed by a Whatcom County Superior Court judge.
Ericksen said that while he has received job offers from the Trump administration over the past year — he wouldn’t say what those job offers were — he turned them down; he also skirted questions from reporters on whether he was considering a job offer when the Herald filed its report.
“I think it’s much better for me to be here representing my constituents in the state Senate,” he said.
Ericksen praised the Trump administration. “It’s pretty amazing that Donald Trump has had a phenomenal first year as president of the United States. He’s accomplished great things,” he said. “One of his great decisions was putting Chris Hladick as the Region 10 administrator. He’s out in Alaska, he’s a great guy. He’s going to do a phenomenal job.”
Ericksen said of Trump’s reelection campaign: “I would love to be involved in the campaign in 2020. That would be great. Hopefully, President Trump will run again.”
Ericksen, whose Senate term expires this year, said he will run for reelection in November.
In response to Ericksen’s announcement, state Senate Democratic Campaign Executive Director Adam Bartz released the following statement: “The news that Sen. Ericksen is running for re-election makes the 42nd district Senate seat a near-lock for Democratic victory in 2018. This district was won by Hillary Clinton, Patty Murray, and Jay Inslee in the 2016 elections, and voters are now even more energized to support Democratic candidates after seeing the disaster that is the Trump Administration. And with a Republican incumbent as unpopular as Doug Ericksen on the ballot, this district is poised to flip to the Democrats.”
— Josh Kelety is a reporter for the WNPA Olympia News Bureau