Redmond resident and 2012 congressional candidate James Watkins doesn't mince words when giving his take on the way the federal government is currently operating.
“Clearly, people overwhelmingly believe the country is off the rails,” he said in a recent phone interview. "If we don’t do something about it in the near term, we’re going to have a train wreck in the economy.”
Watkins, 50, was 's (D-Bainbridge Island) Republic challenger in the 2010 election for Washington's 1st Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He recently filed to run again for the same position in 2012.
Inslee, whose district includes most of Kirkland, announced earlier this summer that he will run for governor in 2012. Other candidates vying to take his seat in Congress include former Democratic state legislator of Kirkland, Bothell Democrat Darshan Rauniyar and state (D-Kirkland).
A business development consultant, Watkins said he spent a combined total of about 15 years as a contractor and full-time employee at Microsoft. He began his career as a mechanic before switching to banking and ending up at the FDIC, where he worked under both the Clinton and George H.W. Bush administrations.
Watkins, who lives in unincorporated King County near the Woodinville city limits, said he believes his combination of public and private sector work experience make him the best candidate for the job.
“As a result of all that, I have the ability to get things done,” he said. “I think that’s a combination we need.”
If elected, Watkins said he would focus on providing the core government services “that people depend on” in a more efficient manner. He also said he would work to repair what he sees as a damaged relationship between the federal government and the American people.
“Unless we have a competent government, that’s not going to change,” he said.
Watkins said he has begun to appear publicly at various events around the region, but that his campaign is primarily focused on fundraising at this point in the election cycle.