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Luke Burbank

Laugh it up: Tenino's mayor is also a comedian

Mayor may be his title, but it's not his full time job. Now Eric Strawn is catching flack from folks for his newest hobby: stand-up comedy.

Strawn was elected mayor of Tenino in November 2011. It's a part time job. He finds other work restoring cars or working at a slaughter plant.

But recently it's his appearances on a morning radio show and stand-up sets in Tacoma, that have drawn criticism.

Strawn tells KIRO Radio's Ross & Burbank that a Tacoma man who owns property four or five miles outside of Tenino, and is unable to vote for the town's mayor, thinks his property value is going down because of Strawn's act.

But should Tenino-ans be worried about the subject matter?

The mayor says his act isn't blue, and while he pulls in stories from his work, it's just as much about different parts of his life, as well as a few embarrassing stories, like allegations Strawn was receiving oral sex inside a police a car.

Strawn says they were just that - allegations. Whoever reported him only saw him from about a hundred feet away, and the Lacey City Attorney didn't see it fit to press charges. But Strawn, who had been caught kissing a friend when he and his wife were separated, had to explain the whole incident to her.

There has to be comedy in there somewhere, right?

"It's a part of an act, it's almost a parody of sorts," says Strawn. "What's embarrassing has happened to you, what have you been accused of, and what can you make light of in your life - instead of freaking out."

Alyssa Kleven, Editor
Alyssa Kleven is an editor and content producer at She enjoys doting over her adorable dachshund Winnie - named for Arcade Fire front-man Win Butler.
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