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Spin Control

Wed., Feb. 16, 2011, 2:52 p.m.

Baumgartner backs Marr

OLYMPIA -- A few months ago, Mike Baumgartner and Chris Marr were locked in a generally contentious and historically expensive state Senate campaign in Spokane's 6th District.

Today, Baumgartner was openly supporting Marr -- for a spot on the state Liquor Control Board.

Gov. Chris Gregoire's nomination of Marr to the board, which has to be approved by the Senate, came up for a vote in the morning session. Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown of Spokane, a fellow Democrat and longtime Marr ally, moved for his confirmation by reciting a long list of positions on Marr's resume.

That would have been enough to get the vote, which was pretty much a foregone conclusion. But Baumgartner, who beat Marr in the November election, rose for his first official floor comments.

"I've known Chris Marr from the campaign trail and I think he'll be an excellent servant to people in his new role," Baumgartner said. Appointment passed 43-3.

Baumgartner was spared the hazing that usually accompanies a member's first speech for those comments. That will come later, he acknowledged.

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Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981. He is currently the political reporter and state government reporter in the newspaper's Olympia bureau office.

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