Just one day after state Sen. Jim Kastama announced he’s likely to run for secretary of state, a contender for his Senate seat emerged.
Rep. Bruce Dammeier threw his hat in the ring Tuesday evening at a meeting of 25th Legislative District Republicans.
Now there are likely to be two 2012 campaigns for open seats in the district, with Dammeier’s House position up for grabs as well.
Kastama is a Democrat, and Dammeier is a Republican, but both Puyallup men represent a district that is divided right down the middle politically. Of course, that could change with the upcoming redrawing of district lines.
Dammeier has served just three years in the House, and has moved up in the minority Republican ranks quickly to a position with influence over education spending. But he said he was thinking about a run even before Kastama’s announcement, which came in anticipation of Secretary of State Sam Reed‘s possible retirement.
The Senate is enticing in part because the GOP minority is larger and more influential there. That also puts Republicans in a better position to try to take over the Senate in 2012 than the House.
Dammeier told me:
For the Senate, I think there’s more opportunity for bipartisan cooperation, and there’s more opportunity for Republicans to gain the majority. We have the chance to kind of break one party rule.