Birthdate: Jan. 18, 1956
Birth Place: Los Angeles, CA, United States
Residence: Yakima, WA
Mary Baechler was born in Los Angeles, raised in Santa Monica and now lives in Yakima, Wash. She earned a bachelor's of science degree in general studies from Washington State University.
Baechler has been self-employed for most of her career. In 1984, she founded a baby stroller business called Baby Jogger Co. and served as its CEO for 18 years. She sold the company in 2003 and has since worked as a freelance writer and consultant.
Baechler has never held public office, instead focusing on volunteer opportunities. She has served on the advisory board for the nonprofit group Stop Handgun Violence, organized a food drive to deliver food to Russia during a food shortage, and has volunteered as a tutor in U.S. citizenship classes and in English language classes. Baechler was a volunteer and organizer for Barack Obama's presidential campaign for Yakima County in 2007 and 2008.
She is divorced and has three grown children.
Mary Baechler says her top priority in Congress would be to preserve Social Security and Medicare, calling any efforts to dismantle those programs "a social experiment on senior citizens."
Baechler says she would work to end the recession and create jobs through "fair taxation" to help middle-class and lower-income Americans and give them more money to spend locally. She says she will use her business background to look for ways to create jobs through business innovation and by fostering new markets, particularly for agriculture and manufacturing products in central Washington.
Baechler also says she would work to preserve Americans' rights to full health care, particularly women.
Baechler criticized Republican U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, who currently represents Washington's 4th District and serves as chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, as a voice for big oil and gas companies. Baechler says she supports Obama's plans for offshore drilling, which don't go as far as Republicans would like, because the plans take into account what's been learned from the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Baechler also supports development of alternative energy sources to create jobs and curb the effects of global warming, saying, "It's like we've got a tsunami coming in 15 or 20 years, and we have a choice whether we're going to prepare for it or not."
"We have an obligation to the generations that follow us to protect the earth and make sure they're going to have a livable world," she said. "So it's important that the government and Congress plan ahead."
Source: Associated Press