A candidate for State Senator, Legislative District 6 (West Plains and western Spokane) in the 2010 Washington Primary Election
City: Spokane, WA
Education: Master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University, 2002; bachelor’s degree from WSU in economics, minors in math and French, 1999. Attended Gonaga Prep for two years before returning with his family to Pullman, where he graduated high school in 1995.
Work experience: Worked for office of the Crown Prince of Dubai as economic development adviser for about a year starting in June 2002. Worked two years starting in the spring of 2003 for i4, a company that hoped to build a telecommunication network in Saudi Arabia. Worked as Dubai-based business consultant for about a year. Worked as consultant for Hecla Mining related to gold mine in Venezuela for several months in 2006. Worked as economics officer for the U.S. State Department in Iraq for about a year starting in spring 2007. Worked for Civilian Police International, a State Department contractor, in Afghanistan on a counter-narcotics program for about eight months starting in December 2008. Currently is a consultant, teaching troops about economic development issues before deployment.
Political experience: Elected to state Senate in 2010, unseating Democratic incumbent Chris Marr. Unsuccessfully challenged Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell in 2012.
Family: Wife; three children.
On this race:
Elected Experience: None.
Other Professional Experience: Mike is an economic development consultant and former diplomat who has advised international and Spokane area firms. In 2007 Mike left Washington state to serve as an Economics Officer at the US Embassy in Baghdad, earning commendations from General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker. In 2009 he worked on a State Department contracted counternarcotics program in Afghanistan, helping farmers grow wheat.
Education: Gonzaga Prep, Pullman High; WSU – BA, Economics (1999); Harvard – MPA, Intl Development (2002).
Community Service: Mike is a member of Operation Spokane Heroes, Greater Spokane Incorporated, and Knights of Columbus. He served as a Jesuit volunteer in Africa in 1999.
Statement: I love Spokane. My career in economic development has taken me to more than 65 countries; there is no place more beautiful or people as warm-hearted as those in our city. In 2007 I left my business career to go to Iraq because I saw my country struggling and wanted to help. Against a tough challenge, during the ‘surge’ we made progress.
Today, I see my state struggling. Times are tough. Good people are having a hard time finding work. Our state leaders have made matters worse, raising taxes and running up record deficits year after year - making it hard to create jobs. While spending went through the roof, programs we care about – public schools and higher education – were hit with deep cuts. It’s wrong.
We need new leadership that understands we can’t continue to spend more money than we have. I chose to specialize in economic development because I wanted to help grow jobs and improve people’s lives. My fiancée and I love being in Spokane and want to start a family here. I want to help our community create jobs.
It would be an honor to represent Spokane; I would appreciate your vote. Let’s get to work.