Q&A with congressional candidate Bob Champion
The following is a Q&A with local congressional candidate Bob Champion, who is running for the old 1st Congressional District seat, which is a one-month term.
Q: Why are you running for Congress?
A: I am weary of the partisan politics and process paralysis that has gripped Washington. I am frustrated by Congress’ inability to pass a budget.
Q: What are your priorities? What do you see are the top issues and what do you hope to change?
A: My priority is to be a voice of change. I believe that in this special election, we ‘the people’ have a unique opportunity to voice our strong desire that the parties shun their partisan politics and demand that the parties work together on the problems that unite us. I know that by working together, we can accomplish great things. I know that by working together, we will lay the foundation that future generations can build upon.
I believe the top issue, barring any resolution before the August recess, will continue to be the budget. As it stands today, without congressional action, most Americans will face higher taxes. Congress will also face automatic spending cuts, expiration of the government's borrowing authority and the end of payroll tax cuts. I believe that absent any meaningful tax reform, the parties will be forced to extend the Bush/Obama era tax cuts.
Q: What will you do to make those changes?
A: I believe the Bowles-Simpson fiscal plan should be the basis for meaningful bipartisan consensus. I would advocate for a limited extension of the Bush/Obama era tax cuts to allow the 113th Congress time to finalize the details of the Bowles-Simpson plan.
I am a proponent of permanently extending the sales tax deduction for residents of Washington and other states without individual income taxes.
Q: What experience do you have that will help you in your role as Congressman?
A: Having worked in aviation design and manufacturing, I have a wide and diverse business background. I have been fortunate to work with some of the most influential people in aviation. Along the way, I have learned a lot from my peers, mentors, fellow managers and advisors. The teams that I have been on, or have led, are successful because they have a clearly stated objective, sound execution plans, and are fiscally responsible. This is coupled with a respect for the needs of the team and the needs of the individual.
Q: What is your professional background?
A: I have worked in the aviation industry since 1980. I have spent the majority of my career working in Redmond. My current title with Honeywell Aerospace Advanced Technology, Redmond Flight Safety Systems is Staff Scientist R&D. The Advanced Technology organization serves as Honeywell's research and development center and supports advanced product development activities for all of Honeywell’s Aerospace business units. My primary area of focus is with the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning Computer. I have led highly successful development teams, executing on time and within budget. My management experience includes manufacturing, engineering, operations, program management and aircraft certifications.
Q: What is your personal background?
A: I was born into a large family and raised in Akron, Ohio. I received my undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University. I spent 1 year in Washington D.C., then moved to Washington in 1980. I started work at Sundstrand Data Control in Redmond. My priorities are family and friends. Mary and I enjoy traveling, the beach, fishing and the outdoors. I like to cook and I am an avid baseball fan.
Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
A: By federal law and the Rules of the House of Representatives, the employees of former Representative Inslee continue to staff the offices of the congressional district under the supervision of the Clerk of the House of Representatives. This interim vacant status continues until a new Representative is elected to fill the unexpired term. If elected, I would retain that staff.