Bernbaum aims for state seat

Ex-legislative assistant now House candidate

Adam Bernbaum, D-Port Angeles.

Adam Bernbaum, D-Port Angeles.

PORT ANGELES — Adam Bernbaum, Sen. Kevin Van De Wege’s former administrative assistant, has joined the race for the state representative seat in District 24 that will be vacated by Mike Chapman.

Bernbaum, a Port Angeles Democrat, said he has been endorsed by state Sen. Kevin Van De Wege and Rep. Mike Chapman.

Bernbaum, 31, ended his job with Van De Wege on Dec. 1. He said that, as a legislative assistant, he worked on a variety of issues including health care, reproductive rights, job creation and housing. He also helped constituents navigate unemployment, find stable housing and access health care, he added.

“Adam is truly dedicated to serving our community. He understands the problems we face. He’s ready to begin tackling those problems as a State Representative on day one,” Van De Wege said in a press release.

Said Chapman in the release: “Adam has been an effective and tireless advocate for the 24th Legislative District serving as Senator Van De Wege’s Legislative Assistant. He knows and understands the issues and challenges facing all of us these days and he will bring the same dedication and work ethic to his campaign for public office.”

Bernbaum said he hopes his policy experience, gained both in the state Legislature and as a policy analyst on behavioral health and criminal justice issues, will lead him to be an effective advocate for the 24th Legislative District in Olympia.

“I’ve been blessed with so many opportunities to make a direct change in peoples’ lives,” Bernbaum said.

“If elected, I will use the office of State Representative in the same way: to fight for policies that will benefit our community,” he added.

Bernbaum, who grew up in rural Washington, cites his mother’s struggle with alcoholism and a gambling addiction as motivating his desire for public service.

“I remember realizing how fortunate I was that my dad had a union job as a high school counselor. No matter how bad my mom’s problems got, we never had to worry about housing or healthcare. More people need that kind of stability in our community, and I want to fight to make that a reality.”

After graduating from the University of Washington, Bernbaum worked for CCE, a nonprofit that focused on behavioral health and criminal justice policy. He then volunteered as a rural organizer on the Olympic Peninsula and later worked as a field organizer for Congressman Derek Kilmer.

Currently, Bernbaum, serves on the boards of the Olympic View Community Foundation, the Nor’wester Rotary and the Clallam County Conservation Futures Program Advisory Board.

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