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Chris Leyba

Name: Chris Leyba
Running For: State Auditor
Party: Republican
Current Position
: Felony crimes Detective with the King County Sheriff’s Office
Home: Tacoma
Social Media: Facebook
Contact Information:[email protected]
Education:  B.S. in Molecular Biology from UW, obtaining MBA in Finance from WSU.

Auburn Examiner Candidate Questionnaire:

We sent each candidate that will be on the ballot for Auburn voters in November’s General Election the following questionnaire. The Auburn Examiner surveyed our readers and received questions and subjects of interest to help develop this questionnaire.

Chris Leyba

Completed September 3, 2020

Candidates were asked how much they agreed with the following statements. Options available were Strongly Agree, Somewhat Agree, Neutral, Somewhat Disagree, and Strongly Disagree.

The existing state government is going in the right direction to benefit the people of Washington.
Somewhat Disagree

Voting by mail should not be allowed except in the case of absentee voting.

There should be stricter rules and regulations on the use of money in political campaigns.
Somewhat Disagree

State and National Parks should be protected from being sold to private or corporate entities.
Somewhat Agree

Environmental protections and regulation are more important than corporate tax revenue.

Collective bargaining rights for all unions and public employees must be protected.
Somewhat Agree

Marriage should legally be defined as a relationship between one man and one woman.
Somewhat Disagree

Public school sex education should be comprehensive, including all contraceptive methods without preference shown to abstinence.
Strongly Disagree

At what point during human development should the law protect human life?
Legal protection should begin at conception

More restrictive gun control is needed to protect public safety.
Somewhat Disagree

Open carry of firearms should be permitted everywhere, without restrictions.
Somewhat Agree

Qualified Immunity for Law Enforcement Officers should be repealed.
Strongly Disagree

Chokeholds and Vascular Neck Restraints should not be permitted by any Washington Law Enforcement agencies.
Somewhat Agree

There should be more emphasis on the rehabilitation of criminals than punishment.
Somewhat Agree

I support the death penalty.
Somewhat Agree

911 Dispatchers should be legally designated as first responders.
Somewhat Agree

There is a mental health crisis in Washington State.
Strongly Agree

A dedicated line, separate from 911, should be created for incidents requiring mental health crisis responses.
Somewhat Disagree

The COVID-19 Pandemic has been handled well by local and state agencies, including the Governor.
Somewhat Disagree

The COVID-19 Pandemic has been handled well by national agencies, including the President.
Somewhat Agree

The following were open questions with no limitations placed on the candidate’s response.

What is the number one platform issue of your campaign, and why is it important to you?
Facts. This office should be absolutely about government oversight in an objective, fact based manner. There is no such thing as a partisan audit and the mindset in the service of this position must reflect that. The only way that your most liberal and most conservative Washington citizen should be equally pleased with the performance of this office is if the facts of what the government is spending money on are all placed on the table… good, bad, and ugly.

How will you make decisions with an equity lens, understanding the impacts to all communities before making them?
I am the only candidate that has not only stated that I believe this office should be run non partisan but actually plans to work on legislation to make it that way! This again goes back to what is the real goal of government oversight. My job in this role is to tell everyone what their government is doing with their money and how they are going about these processes. The best way to appeal to everyone, regardless of their political beliefs, is to establish a track record of showing that I will always do that while serving you.

Is there a responsibility of the Washington state government you feel would be better managed on a county or city level?
One of my first orders of office will be a performance audit of our state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Understand… this is not a gotcha game to “punish” anyone. We need to find out what went right and what went wrong with our response. I believe we will find that county governments should have been given more responsibility and authority during this pandemic. They are much closer to the realities of how they were affected by the virus and would have been a much better leading force in how counties responded to it. The state government can act in a support role. I believe this would have resulted in much faster responses to localized issues in our community than simply relying on a one size fits all approach by the state. However… we will find out for sure after we do a comprehensive investigation and report on this for you once I am in office!

What is one problem under the jurisdiction of the office you are running for, and explain in simple concrete terms your plan to address it?
The current auditor is on record with the Spokesman Review stating that this office is a reactionary duty. This is unacceptable. Government oversight should not be viewed as a role that is about “cleaning up messes”. As a police officer, the public doesn’t want me to simply show up and take reports; instead, they expect proactive policing, patrols, community engagement, and other proactive activity to stop crime before it happens. The same logic applies here. This office needs to be changed to a proactive force that serves you by finding bad processes BEFORE bad people can take advantage of them. If your current auditor had done her job under this philosophy, it is very likely our social safety net in the Employment Security Department would have never been allowed to lose hundreds of millions of our dollars and cause so many of our neighbors to suffer as they went without.

Excluding the First and Second, which is your favorite U.S. Constitutional Amendment, and why?
The Eighth. The right to restrict government from administering cruel and unusual punishment is very important. I think we have forgotten that such punishment can also be emotional and economic, not just physical.

If you could recommend ONE book that best represents your values/describes your ethos, what would it be?
One Year After by William Fortchen (read the whole series!)

Candidates were asked to agree or disagree to the following statement. This was the only question candidates were required to answer on the questionnaire.

I commit to representing the best interests of my constituents and not those of my party, donors, or special interest groups.


Primary voter pamphlet statement: What’s on the Ballot: State Auditor