James Thomas


I was born in Cleveland Ohio, back when Cleveland was the epicenter of the industrial midwest. My family were die-hard Stevenson Democrats. My aunt Josie’s house lay in the shadow of the Jones and Laughlin steel mill and I have relatives who dug coal for Mr. Peabody, back in the hollers of Appalachia; coal that fed the fires of that mill. The fears and aspirations of working people have always been part of my DNA.

I campaigned for Carl Stokes in 1967 when he was running to be the first Black mayor of a major US city. I was 16 years old at the time. His win convinced me of both the importance of being involved and in the truth of the proposition that a group of people working together can accomplish the seemingly impossible.

I went to Oberlin College but, being a young man in a hurry, left before graduating. I worked there as a technician in the Media Center and soon became the shop steward OCOPE โ€“ the Oberlin College Office and Professional Employees union. Two years later I was the president of that union.

Most of my adult life has been spent in the medical industry, first repairing medical equipment, later managing sales forces, and eventually vice-president level positions. In this work I have traveled extensively and even lived on and off in China for a couple of years. These experiences shaped my view of the world around us, of our place in it, and of the opportunities โ€“ and threats โ€“ facing our nation in a rapidly changing world.

Today I own a small medical manufacturing company. To serve the community I chair the Economic Development Council of Mason County and also chair the Planning Advisory Commission of Mason County.

My wife Darla is a CPA who owns a public accounting firm. She is also a partner in a general accounting firm in Vancouver, WA. We have been married for 25 years and have 5 children and 8 grandchildren between us.

For State Representative, 35th District Position 1