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Padden running for 4th District Senate seat

Former Rep. Mike Padden is running for the 4th District Senate seat that he was shut out of in the recent appointment process.

Padden announced today that he'll run this fall for the seat formerly held for 30 years by Bob McCaslin, and to which Jeff Baxter was recently appointed by Spokane County Commissioners. His announcement came with endorsements from some Valley GOP heavyweights like McCaslin and former state Rep. Lynn Schindler.

A 14-year legislator and 12-year Spokane County District Court judge, Padden was among more than a half dozen Republicans interested in the appointment when McCaslin resigned on Jan. 5 because of health problems. But when Republican precinct committee officers met later that month to nominate three potential replacements, supporters of state Rep. Matt Shea elected a slate that kept Padden off the list.

4th District Republican Leader Jeff Baxter, a Valley businessman, was appointed to the seat until a special election this fall. He was sworn in last week, but said he wants to wait a few week before deciding whether he'll run for the position in the upcoming special election.

Although Padden can begin campaigning and raising money now, state law prohibits Baxter, Shea, or any sitting legislator from raising money for an election campaign while the Legislature is in session.

He said Monday he left the Legislature in 1995 because he had young children at home, and the district court appointsment was "a great opportunity and allowed me to return here fulltime.

"I always missed the Legislature."

He currently serves as judicial outreach liaison to the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission.

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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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