A political newcomer and self-described "normal, everyday Joe" from Spanaway is challenging a state House member seeking a second term.
Jason Bergstrom, 28, works for a heating, ventilation and air conditioning company, Kliemann Brothers HVAC. In the jargon of the business, he said, he's a "comfort consultant."
Why try for the Legislature in his first bid for public office? Partly to help fix the state's mental-health system, he said. After a tragedy in his family resulting from mental illness, that issue is his "driving force," he said.
Bergstrom also supports the $8.7 billion package of tax breaks for Boeing that the Legislature passed last winter, a position that puts him at odds with his Democratic opponent, Rep. David Sawyer.
Bergstrom is running as a Republican in the Democrat-heavy 29th District that includes Parkland, Spanaway, South Tacoma and eastern Lakewood.
He takes a no-new-taxes stance and criticizes what he says are onerous regulations on small business. But he also calls himself a moderate Republican, not "a right-wing guy" or Tea Party member.
He also said in an e-mail:
"I'm not a lock-step republican. I have my own feelings on issues, and want to do what's best for the people. Most politicians start their political careers with noble intent. Then that shortly fades away because of the constant gridlock we have in our state legislative and congressional houses."