Born and raised in Whatcom County, Doug Ericksen has been bringing hometown values and solutions to Olympia since 1998. After serving six terms in the House, he was elected to the Senate in 2010.
Senator Ericksen is ranking minority member on the Senate Energy, Environment and Technology Committee. He also serves on the Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee.
Local Roots, Local Values
Born the youngest of three sons to a middle-class Lutheran minister's family in Bellingham, Doug Ericksen learned early in life the importance of faith, family, and the American work ethic.
Doug and his wife Tasha have two daughters and are raising their family in Ferndale. Tasha is a public school teacher, Elsa is a freshman in college, and Addi is a junior at Ferndale High School. The Ericksen family enjoys backpacking, biking, gardening, taking care of FFA and 4H animals, and travel. They attend Trinity Lutheran Church in Bellingham.
Educated at Lowell Elementary, Fairhaven Middle, and Sehome High Schools, Doug excelled in the classroom and on the athletic field. He earned six varsity letters at Sehome High School and was named to the All-State Football and Baseball teams. Doug earned a degree in Government at Cornell University in New York.
Impact of Working Overseas
Following graduation, Doug traveled to Taiwan to teach English. The experience made two major impressions upon Doug: the strength/energy of free markets and the amount of pollution in their air. His time in Taiwan inspired Doug to continue his education, with the goal of promoting positive aspects of the free market while protecting society from harm to the environmental.
Upon his return from Asia, Doug received a master’s degree in Political Science and Environmental Policy from Western Washington University. During his time at WWU, he worked in Olympia for local State Senator Ann Anderson.
In 1998, Doug went to work for the Department of Fish and Wildlife as Legislative Affairs Coordinator. He worked with agency staff, legislators on both sides of the aisle, the Governor’s office and committee staff to create the 1998 Salmon Habitat Recovery Act. This legislation put in place a grassroots-driven methodology to identify salmon habitat recovery projects at the local level, fund them with state and federal dollars, and then monitor the projects for success or failure.
In 1998 Doug left the Department of Fish and Wildlife to run the State Legislature, his first campaign for elected office. After winning the election, Doug went on to serve with distinction as our State Representative, standing up for the taxpayers, the people who provide jobs, and for protecting our environment.
For the past eight years, Doug has served as our State Senator--five of those years as the Chairman of the Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee. As Chair, Doug reformed our toxic clean-up programs to get more projects done faster, fought for good-paying manufacturing jobs, passed legislation to save the solar industry, and stood up every day for our quality of life.
Sen. Ericksen works every day to protect and expand job opportunities in Whatcom County. A major focus has been keeping the ALCOA INTALCO WORKS plant open. Due to Doug's leadership, INTALCO is the only aluminum plant operating west of the Mississippi.
"Doug, I sincerely thank you for all you have done. You did more for Intalco than any other legislator. You are one of the reasons the plant is still operating.”
Plant Manager (Retired)
Alcoa, Intalco Works
Under Doug's leadership the State Senate worked to:
- Protect taxpayers
- Defend our great jobs at Cherry Point and in all of Whatcom County
- Support our farmers
- Passed the strongest crude by rail legislation in America
- Passed landmark legislation sponsored by Doug to save the solar industry in Washington
- Passed legislation sponsored by Doug to protected Puget Sound Energy customers from rate spikes as coal assets are retired in the coming years.
Doug’s legislative priorities include providing solutions to keep energy prices low, create jobs and enhance our quality of life.