Birthdate: March 18, 1951
Residence: Seattle, WA
Religion: Presbyterian
Gender: Male

Candidacy

Education

Ron Bemis was born into a family of teachers, raised in California and now resides in Seattle. He earned a bachelor's from Willamette University in Oregon, studying government, politics and history.

Bemis was an intern for Oregon's House majority leader at the time, Democrat Les AuCoin, before earning a law degree from the University of California's Hastings College of the Law. Bemis says he worked his way through college and law school by waiting tables, working in a bookstore and spending summers on the nightshift in a steel supply warehouse.

He spent more than three decades at one of Seattle's oldest law firms, Safford Frey Cooper, focusing on civil litigation, including personal injury and tort law. He later opened his own law office.

Bemis and his wife, Michelle, have two adult children.

Profile

Ron Bemis is a political newcomer who faces a tough road in trying to unseat Seattle's popular "congressman for life," Rep. Jim McDermott. Bemis won 15 percent of the vote in the 2012 seven-candidate primary, good enough for second place to McDermott's 71 percent.

Bemis says he is running because he is opposed to the ballooning of federal debt and spending during McDermott's 24 years in office. Though he listed himself as preferring the Republican Party on the primary ballot, he says his political philosophy is "unifying and nonpartisan," and he says there are already a number of credible, bipartisan plans out there for reigning in spending, including the Simpson-Bowles plan.

Bemis also supports cutting federal tax rates and simplifying the tax code and requiring cost-benefit analyses for legislation. His campaign website says people should not be subject to health care rationing or mandates, and suggests instead that citizens be able to make and self-manage contributions to their own untaxed health care savings accounts.

Though Bemis has not previously run for political office, he did serve as spokesman for a successful initiative campaign in Seattle in 1986. The measure disbanded the city's Citizens' Commission on Central America and overturned the City Council's legislation declaring Seattle a "city of refuge" for those fleeing violence in Guatemala and El Salvador. The measure stated that Seattle's citizens supported the immigration laws of the federal government and that the city should focus on its own problems.

Source: Associated Press

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