Born in Bronx, New York, Bauman worked as a registered nurse for many years before entering politics. He obtained his bachelor's degree in nursing from Excelsior College, University of the State of New York. He also obtained graduate education in Health Care Administration from Century University, now known as American Century University. He lives in North Hollywood with his husband of many years, Michael. Eric's cousin is musician Jon "Bowzer" Bauman.
Bauman is chair of the California Democratic Party, the largest State Democratic Party entity in the United States.
Bauman has been referred to as a "kingmaker" in Los Angeles County Democratic politics by the LA Weekly. His leadership has brought its share of critiques.
The LA Weekly states that "The general public doesn't know much, if anything, about Bauman, but he's a professional Democrat and behind-the-scenes power player who has a reputation for playing hard-ball politics and not always being a nice guy." Bauman has been known to send cease and desist letters to those who falsely imply an official connection to the Democratic Party.
He was ranked #11 on the Capitol Weekly's "Top 100″ in 2016, saying, "Eric Bauman, born in the Bronx, N.Y., has been the chair of the L.A. County Democratic Party since 2000 and he’s making a run at the chairmanship of the California Democratic Party, which will be available when John Burton steps down next year. The chances are, Bauman will get the statewide job, according to the people we talked to."
In 2015, Capitol Weekly named him #20, and in 2014, he was ranked #33.
Under his leadership, the LA Democratic Party has been awarded 15 Pollie Awards and 3 Reed Awards.
Bauman is regularly quoted by the Los Angeles Times and often appears on Cable News Network (CNN) and KTTV Fox 11 News on issues relating to Los Angeles County and California Democratic politics.
He is a senior adviser to Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon. He served in this role previously for Speakers John A. Perez and Toni G. Atkins, in addition to having been Governor Gray Davis' Southern California Director, and having served as Deputy Insurance Commissioner under then Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi.
Bauman makes regular monthly appearances on Charter Communications' California Edition.
Prior to attending the 2016 Democratic National Convention as a PLEO Delegate, Bauman was featured in a special edition of KNBCLA's News Conference with Conan Nolan
Among his many media appearances he makes was a special 2016 election edition on PBS.
Bauman put in a bid to be Chair of the California Democratic Party in 2017. His biggest opponent was Kimberly Ellis.
On May 20, 2017, he was elected Chair of the California Democratic Party at the annual state convention.
Bauman has been criticized for his ties to California's pharmaceutical industry. He has lobbied against Proposition 61 which would have prohibited the state from buying drugs that are more expensive that price the Department of Veterans Affairs pays. This criticism has re-emerged following his election to become Chair of the California Democratic Party.