New Rhythms On The Horizon
Updated: Apr 2, 2020
This week I have been at home. I’ve been at home along with my wife and my five rambunctious kids. We don’t go out. I talk to my neighbors over the fence, walk the dog alone, and wave to the mail carrier from inside. I respond to email from work, text messages from my brothers and parents, and I read the news. I’m sure this sounds familiar. I certainly have a new understanding for the old saying that you don’t always appreciate something until it’s gone.
Our daily rhythm of school, friends, classes, sports, work, eating out, family gatherings, special occasions, and handshakes has abruptly disappeared. Our community has shrunk, and I miss it.
My decision to run for Whatcom County Superior Court Judge was made long before this unfortunate mess unfolded. I felt then, (and I know now), that I can be a trustworthy and fair judge, one that serves our entire community. This community is a part of me and I was formed and nourished by it. I am in the lucky position of benefiting from the great diversity that Whatcom County offers. I was raised in Bellingham, growing up on Walnut Street in the Columbia neighborhood. My brothers and I went to Assumption School, shopped at Meridian Haggen, played at Elizabeth and Cornwall Parks, swam at Lake Padden, and rode mountain bikes at Galbraith. We were all Bellingham in the 80’s.
When I was in high school we moved to Lynden where I graduated from Lynden High School. Today, I continue to live in Lynden with my lovely wife Elisa and our five kids; Max, Lucy, Harvey, Catherine, and Adele. They attend Lynden public schools.
My professional career has likewise been defined by the local community. I graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in Economics and Philosophy. To get through, I waited tables at a restaurant in Fairhaven. After graduation I worked briefly at Peoples Bank in Barkley Village before leaving for law school at Seattle University. While in law school, Elisa and I lived in the Sunnyland neighborhood of Bellingham and I commuted to school.
After graduation, I began work at the Bellingham City Attorney’s Office assisting with civil litigation. I later moved to criminal work and prosecuted misdemeanor cases in Bellingham Municipal Court. It was there that I worked first hand with the homeless members of our community. After spending several years there, I moved to the county court system and began work in the Whatcom County Prosecutor’s Office. I advanced through that office; working in District Court, Juvenile Court, and, for the last five years, handling serious adult felonies in Whatcom County Superior Court, including murder, rape, burglary, and assault. I am the office's legal training deputy and teach Constitutional Law at Whatcom Community College, which I have done for the last eight years.
During these years, I also worked for the Bellingham law firm of Carmichael Clark (then Zender Thurston) where I handled estate planning, real estate, and business, municipal and family law matters. I also worked as the criminal prosecutor in Lynden and as a Judge pro tem for Bellingham, Blaine, and Ferndale. I have worked in every court system in our community.
If elected, I will bring to the bench all of my personal and professional experience. I will remember each street, each neighborhood, and each city and town in which I have lived and worked. The entire community will have a judge who they nurtured and who is a part of them. A judge who listens, a judge who understands, and a judge who is fair and community-minded. A judge not beholden to any political ideology. Someone for all of us.
As we sit in our homes over the next weeks and months, as we recognize not only what we are missing, but how important our community is to us, please consider my candidacy for Whatcom County Superior Court. Please consider that at the end of this trying time, Whatcom County can and will come back together.
Please consider that having a community judge -trusted and fair- can be a part of that recovery.
I wish the best for you and your families.