Maria Cantwell has a Republican challenger.
The GOP has been trying to find a candidate to take on the U.S. Senate Democrat, and Michael Baumgartner of Spokane is the first to step up.
A 35-year-old freshman state senator has less than a year under his belt in the Legislature and little statewide profile, but has a resume that includes work as a diplomat in Iraq.
Baumgartner showed a tendency to work across the aisle in this term’s unusually bipartisan Senate. He voted for the state budget, and his main achievement so far is helping pass a bill with his name on it that merged the state’s back-office agencies, a top priority for Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire. The bill also took steps toward privatization of some of those agencies’ services.
The announcement video: