UPDATE 12 PM DEC 21, 2021: The public memorial service for the late Senator Doug Ericksen will be held 12PM December 29 at Christ the King Church Bellingham located at 4173 Meridian St, Bellingham, WA.
WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash., December 18, 2021 – Today, the Senate Republican Caucus announced the passing of Senator Doug Ericksen (LD-42, R-Ferndale). The cause of death has not been released; he was 52 years old. Ericksen is survived by his wife Tasha and daughters Elsa and Addi.
“We are heartbroken to share that our husband and father passed away on Friday, Dec. 17,” Tasha, Elsa, and Addi Ericksen shared in an official statement. “Please keep our family in your prayers and thank you for continuing to respect our privacy in this extremely difficult time.”
Sen. Doug Ericksen, born in Bellingham, has served in Olympia for over 20 years. He was first elected to the House in November 1998 and after six terms as the Representative for the 42nd District, he was elected as Senator for the district in November 2010. He has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a master’s from Western Washington University.
Sen. Ericksen was a ranking minority member on the Senate Energy, Environment and Technology Committee. He also served on the Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee. His legislative priorities included providing solutions to keep energy prices low, create jobs and enhance the quality of life of residents.
Ericksen, an outspoken advocate for President Donald J. Trump, accepted a temporary position of interim director of communications with the United States Environmental Protection Agency in January 2017.
During then-candidate Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016, Ericksen was one of a handful of elected officials in Washington state to initially support the former President. On candidate Trump’s visit to Lynden, WA in May 2016, Ericksen spoke to the crowd and co-organized the event.
He along with then-Senators Don Benton, Kirk Pearson, and Brian Dansel, organized the largest political rally in Snohomish County at the Xfinity Arena, now named the Angel of the Winds Arena, in Everett for Trump’s August visit. People started gathering outside the arena hours before the doors opened, with thousands gathering and the line stretching for blocks.
“A true patriot and dear friend has gone to God,” Senator Don Benton told the Lynnwood Times when asked for comments on the passing of Sen. Doug Ericksen. “We are friends and allies in everything. Both in the House and that continued in the Senate, and our whole time together over 30 years. I will miss him terribly!”
Former Senator Kirk Pearson (R-Monroe) shared with the Lynnwood Times his condolences to the Ericksen family.
“I am sadden to hear about the loss of Senator Ericksen. Doug, truly cared for the people he served in his district. My thoughts turn to his wife and daughters who are in my prayers.”
Last month Ericksen tested positive for COVID-19 in El Salvador. Unable to get back to the United States, Ericksen reached out to Republican colleagues to help send him monoclonal antibodies for treatment as it was reportedly not available in El Salvador. According to Associated Press, Ericksen was taken to a hospital in Florida where it was reported that he was in stable condition and on the road to recovery.
Ericksen recently introduced legislation to create a new felony crime of “economic terrorism” that would allow prosecution of demonstrators who block roadways. He was a fierce opponent to Democrat Party policies and Gov. Jay Inslee.
Governor Jay Inslee released the following statement on the death of Sen. Ericksen, “Trudi and I send our deep condolences to Sen. Doug Ericksen’s family, friends and colleagues. Our hearts are with them.”
Senate Minority Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, shared a similar sentiment.
“I am deeply saddened by the news that Doug passed away yesterday. My prayers and thoughts are with his wife, Tasha, and his daughters. Doug could be larger than life and our caucus will miss him greatly. He was passionate about his duties as a member of the Legislature and dedicated to his constituents.”