The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

No Trump job for Ferndale senator

 

January 11, 2018



By Josh Kelety

WNPA Olympia News Bureau

Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, will not take a job at President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency, despite reports to the contrary.

A report in the Bellingham Herald last Friday stated that Sen. Ericksen had been “appointed to an EPA post in Seattle,” according to an assistant for Chris Hladick, the EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

But at a hallway press conference Ericksen assured reporters that he won’t be taking the job and will remain in his current capacity as a state senator.

“I’m not taking a job at the EPA. That is not accurate,” he said.

Ericksen would not confirm nor deny that he had accepted a new position when asked by the Herald last Friday.

From January through May Sen. Ericksen worked with the Trump administration as communications director for the environmental agency’s transition team on a short-term contract while serving as a state senator. Working the two jobs at once prompted criticism and 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 repeated questions from reporters on whether he was considering a job offer last Friday 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.

The senator made a point to praise 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 unprompted. “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.”

When asked by reporters if he was involved in the national Republican effort to reelect President Trump, Ericksen said: “I would love to be involved in the campaign in 2020. That would be great. Hopefully President Trump will run again.”

Ericksen, whose term expires this year, said that he will be seeking reelection in November.

In response to Ericksen’s announcement, Washington 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.”

 

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