WA Auto Repair Shop Owner Begins Congressional Term

Jan. 5, 2023

Marie Gluesenkamp Perez is an auto shop owner looking to bring her working-class experience to Washington, D.C.

Jan. 5, 2023—Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, who enters the 118th congress as the first Latino Democrat elected from Washington state, is also an auto repair shop owner.  

Gluesenkamp Perez, a mother and entrepreneur whose father immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, defeated Republican Joe Kent in November. 

When asked by CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins what the political process was like for her, Perez said: 

“What I’ve seen is to get elected, to be in congress takes so much money. It takes such a network. I think it’s really, really hard for normal people to be elected into congress, and I feel really grateful to have had this unique set of circumstances where I was able to communicate with my district and able to put my experiences to use in a way that I think will serve my district well.” 

Perez reflected on her experience as an auto repair shop owner as the key qualification for taking a shot at running for public office. 

“I think it’s about the overriding principles about building a congress that looks more like America. I think that the candidate selection process is fundamentally broken. What a lot of political people think makes a good candidate many Americans don’t agree with anymore. We don’t want just a single man with a law degree. We want people who fix things for a living. We want young moms. We want people who struggle to get a mortgage.” 

About the Author

Ratchet+Wrench Staff Reporters

The Ratchet+Wrench staff reporters have a combined two-plus decades of journalism and mechanical repair experience.

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