Toby is an experienced and active leader in our community.

During his time as state representative, Toby served as Ranking Member of the House Committee on State Government Operations and Accountability, where he sponsored bi-partisan reforms to our election laws following the contentious 2004 election. He also served on the Transportation committee, the Technology, Energy and Communications committee, the Finance committee, the Children and Family Services committee, the Joint Legislative Systems Committee (overseeing all the computer and networks systems of the legislature), and the Joint Administrative Rules Review Committee (ensuring that executive branch rules do not exceed legislative authority). He served on the Attorney General’s Advisory Council on Identity Theft, on the Joint Select Committee on the Homeowner Association Act, and on King County’s Community Advisory Board on Disabled Accessible Voting Equipment. His broad experience and contacts in state government enable him to be a persuasive advocate for Kirkland.

Toby is a technology expert and recognized leader in the computer industry, and applies his skills to serving the people of Kirkland.

Toby’s career has focused on building consensus on standards and policy issues to enable the diverse and competitive companies in the computer industry to move forward together and effectively serve the needs of their customers. He applies this experience in all of his activities to bring together people having disparate views to work toward common goals.

Toby’s life experiences make him sensitive to the needs of all people in our community, and have prepared him for public service.

Toby came from humble beginnings. His father, son of an airplane factory worker, served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War and was an inspector for Rocketdyne (which produced rocket engines for the U.S. space program) until he was injured in a work accident. Toby’s parents separated and eventually divorced. After disability compensation ran out and still unable to work, Toby’s father raised his three sons on public assistance such as welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, rental housing assistance, free school lunch programs, and government surplus food, while struggling through a string of failed attempts to start small businesses he could do while living with his disability. But throughout these struggles, Toby’s father set an example for his sons of dedicated volunteer community service and caring for other family members who had more severe disabilities.

Toby and Irene Nixon
Toby and Irene in 2017

Toby was introduced to computers early in high school, and excelled. He got his first computer job at the age of 16 through CETA (the federal Comprehensive Employment and Training Act program) working for the Shasta County government in California as a computer operator and programmer. He received a full scholarship to attend California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where he was the first freshman to win the prestigious Association of Computing Machinery’s computer programming award and worked as a tutor for juniors and seniors in programming courses, but he chose to leave college early to pursue his career. He quickly became an expert on the leading edge of computer communications, telephony, and device connectivity. Now, his over 48 years’ experience in a wide range of technologies and managing relationships between technology companies enables him to devote time to serving his country, state, community, and family — but he never forgets where he came from, and the help he received from so many people along the way.

Family Photo from 2004
Family Photo from 2004

Toby and his wife Irene have been married for over 41 years. They have five grown children, and reside in the Kingsgate neighborhood of Kirkland. His hobbies include singing in and directing church and community choirs, playing the piano, volunteering web site management for several local organizations, and serving on the boards of charitable organizations. He is passionate about expanding public access to government information, and teaching people how the government works and how to be more effective advocates for the issues important to them.