I have always strongly believed in public service and have dedicated my career to working for the American people based on the principle that our system works and works well. However, my extensive academic and professional experience has taught me a fundamental truth (something that the American people are well aware of) that Congress isn’t working well and definitely isn’t working for you. (Download James’ Professional Biography)
I recently left a rewarding job as both an Associate Dean and Instructor at a college to start this campaign to represent our district. I am motivated by the same ideals that originally led me to the difficult decision to leave Washington State at the age of 25 to pursue a career in public service. I have a sincere and strong desire to serve as your Representative in Congress so that together we can work to strengthen America and to ensure that our district has the best representation possible. This district is my home, my connections run deep, and I am ready to work tirelessly to make Congress work for you.
I was born and raised in Sammamish. I graduated from Redmond High School. I spent my summer and winter weekends in the Cascades, Kittitas County and the Columbia Basin doing outdoor activities. I know people and places on both sides of the Cascades. I grew up working long hours at our family-run gas station on Mercer Island. My father and late-grandfather owned “Windle’s Union 76” for more than 30 years until it unfortunately closed in 2000. I worked side-by-side with my family through high school and college, fixing cars, pumping gas, and helping our customers. The sudden closing of a long-successful business and the hardship that this imposed on my family gave me a real appreciation for the difficulties of operating a small business. It also taught me hard-earned lessons in the benefits of hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.
I am the first member of my family to attend college (see “James at the Gas Station.”). I attended Washington State University before graduating from the University of Washington Phi Beta Kappa. With my employment opportunities limited with the closing of the gas station. I decided to pursue a graduate degree in Boston University in 2001 to increase my prospects for starting a career in my passion, public service.
As I finished my coursework in Boston, a UW professor connected me with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland. PNNL assigned me to the headquarters of the National Nuclear Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, DC. This led to a series of positions at the White House budget office, in Congress, and at federal agencies. I was fortunate to work on a variety of budget matters and public policy issues, including national defense and strategy, energy policy, environmental clean-up, and nuclear nonproliferation.
Most recently, I have been teaching the lessons I’ve learned in government as an Associate Dean and Instructor at the Department of Defense’s National Defense University. I developed and taught a course this spring entitled, “How Congress Works” while obtaining a second masters degree from the Naval War College in 2011. While teaching, I reflected on whether the premise of my course, that Congress works, was really the case. I realized that the answer is no, and that the time was right to move back home and run for Congress.
In addition to the practical education I gained, which has prepared me to be a leader in my home state, I met my beautiful wife in Washington, DC. Our time in the “other” Washington has always been focused on our desire to return to Washington State. Our desire to return to Washington State has been so strong the only home we have ever owned is in Snoqualmie Pass. The home is now my full-time residence.
My wife continues to work in Washington, DC, as an attorney in the federal government, but will be a frequent presence in our district. She supports my decision, and she feels just as strongly as I do that it is time that our district be better represented in Washington. My parents, my family, and friends all live in the 8th District and surrounding areas. I look forward to reconnecting with all of them, and to meeting you for the first time during this important campaign as we discuss what you think we need to do to improve the 8th District. I hope to gain your support as we embark on this journey together.
Vote for James Windle for the U.S. House of Representatives, Washington’s 8th District.