Democrat Chris Marr conceded defeat Wednesday night in the record-breaking million-dollar battle for a Spokane County state Senate seat. Marr made up some ground in the second day of ballot counting against Republican Michael Baumgartner, but he said it was too little to make a difference. Read more
Age: 39City: Spokane, WA
On this race: Elected Experience: None.
Other Professional Experience: Mike is an economic development consultant and former diplomat who has advised international and Spokane area firms. In 2007 Mike left Washington state to serve as an Economics Officer at the US Embassy in Baghdad, earning commendations from General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker. In 2009 he worked on a State Department contracted counternarcotics program in Afghanistan, helping farmers grow wheat.
Education: Gonzaga Prep, Pullman High; WSU – BA, Economics (1999); Harvard – MPA, Intl Development (2002).
Community Service: Mike is a member of Operation Spokane Heroes, Greater Spokane Incorporated, and Knights of Columbus. He served as a Jesuit volunteer in Africa in 1999.
Statement: I love Spokane. My career in economic development has taken me to more than 65 countries; there is no place more beautiful or people as warm-hearted as those in our city. In 2007 I left my business career to go to Iraq because I saw my country struggling and wanted to help. Against a tough challenge, during the ‘surge’ we made progress.
Today, I see my state struggling. Times are tough. Good people are having a hard time finding work. Our state leaders have made matters worse, raising taxes and running up record deficits year after year - making it hard to create jobs. While spending went through the roof, programs we care about – public schools and higher education – were hit with deep cuts. It’s wrong.
We need new leadership that understands we can’t continue to spend more money than we have. I chose to specialize in economic development because I wanted to help grow jobs and improve people’s lives. My fiancée and I love being in Spokane and want to start a family here. I want to help our community create jobs.
It would be an honor to represent Spokane; I would appreciate your vote. Let’s get to work.
Education: Master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University, 2002; bachelor’s degree from WSU in economics, minors in math and French, 1999. Attended Gonaga Prep for two years before returning with his family to Pullman, where he graduated high school in 1995.
Work experience: Worked for office of the Crown Prince of Dubai as economic development adviser for about a year starting in June 2002. Worked two years starting in the spring of 2003 for i4, a company that hoped to build a telecommunication network in Saudi Arabia. Worked as Dubai-based business consultant for about a year. Worked as consultant for Hecla Mining related to gold mine in Venezuela for several months in 2006. Worked as economics officer for the U.S. State Department in Iraq for about a year starting in spring 2007. Worked for Civilian Police International, a State Department contractor, in Afghanistan on a counter-narcotics program for about eight months starting in December 2008. Currently is a consultant, teaching troops about economic development issues before deployment.
Political experience: Elected to state Senate in 2010, unseating Democratic incumbent Chris Marr. Unsuccessfully challenged Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell in 2012.
Family: Wife; three children.
Last updated: Nov. 12, 5:37 p.m. Election results
|Michael Baumgartner (R)||31,765||53.81%|
|Chris Marr (D)||27,263||46.19%|
|Details & headlines about this race|
Michael Baumgartner celebrates with supporters at the Spokane County Republic Party’s election night event at the Davenport Hotel on Tuesday night, Nov. 2, 2010. Baumgartner was leading state Sen. Chris Marr in early returns. Read more
More than a million dollars has been spent fighting for one Spokane seat in the state Senate – and the election season isn’t even over. The milestone was reached this week in the 6th Legislative District fight between incumbent Democratic Sen. Chris Marr and Republican challenger Michael Baumgartner, according to records from the state Public Disclosure Commission. Read more
Claim: “With (Marr’s) tax increases, it’s hurting my employees and my business and the last thing I need right now is an income tax,” said Julie (who doesn’t give a last name and claims to be a Spokane business owner).Source: TV ad from “Spokane Families… Read more
Claim: “Chris Marr (D) has wasted too much time in Olympia. (He) voted to designate the Olympic Marmot the official endemic mammal of the State of Washington, voted to create Christmas tree inspectors, voted to require truth in music advertising (and) voted to designate the… Read more
Claim: “Michael Baumgartner pledged to outlaw all abortions - and to not allow women and their families to decide what’s best when facing serious medical complications in their pregnancies.”Source: Mailer from Healthy PAC, which is funded completely by Safety PAC, which is funded mostly by… Read more
Chris Marr really opposes negative ads. He says he’s been the victim of “hit pieces” by his opponent. He says that his political campaign for the state Senate ought to be about the issues. “The public deserves better than what we’ve seen so far,” Marr said in a KSPS debate not long ago. Read more
Washington state Sen. Chris Marr, a Democrat, and his Republican challenger Michael Baumgartner answer the question, “Should state law be changed to allow cities to fire fully independent police ombudsmen without seeking approval from police unions?” Read more
Washington state Sen. Chris Marr, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Michael Baumgartner answer the question, “What else do you want voters to know about you?” Read more
Washington state Sen. Chris Marr, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Michael Baumgartner answer the question, “What is your position on funding aimed at lowering class sizes?” Read more
It’s with little doubt the nastiest battle this year for a local office. In a second in a series, we examine some of the claims made on behalf of incumbent Democratic state Sen. Chris Marr and his Republican opponent, Michael Baumgartner, in the race to represent the 6th Legislative District. Read more
It may soon be the million-dollar race. And with so much money, voters’ mailboxes and television sets are filled with a lot of information – and misinformation – about the state Senate candidates who hope to represent Spokane’s 6th Legislative District. Incumbent Democrat Chris Marr and Republican Michael Baumgartner have had many spirited debates. More than 20 mailers have been sent by or on behalf of them. Read more
Washington state Sen. Chris Marr, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Michael Baumgartner answer the question, “Do you support Initiative 1082, which would privatize workers’ compensation?” Read more
Two associations that gave money to a Republican group that is funding an ad against incumbent Democratic state Sen. Chris Marr criticized the spot and say they will reevaluate their political donation strategies in light of the commercial.The Washington Health Care Association gave $30,000 to… Read more
The woman whose sexual harassment lawsuit was highlighted in a recent campaign commercial against state Sen. Chris Marr demanded Saturday that the ad be pulled from TV. In a hand-written letter released by the Marr campaign, Dawn Fowler said she was outraged when she saw the ad. Read more
Several area state legislators accepted campaign contributions from a BP employees’ political action committee after this year’s disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – including two Democrats in tough re-election battles. BP political action committees have given to almost 50 campaigns in Washington since the spill. Read more
The woman whose sexual harassment lawsuit was highlighted in a recent campaign commercial against state Sen. Chris Marr demanded Saturday that the ad be pulled from TV. In a hand-written letter released by the Marr campaign, Dawn Fowler said she was outraged when she saw… Read more
Washington state Sen. Chris Marr, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Michael Baumgartner discuss their positions on whether high school students should have to pass a standardized test to earn a diploma. Read more
A new TV commercial began running this week criticizing state Sen. Chris Marr for running an auto dealership that settled a sexual harassment lawsuit with an employee.The issue popped up in Marr’s first run for office in 2006. Marr, a Democrat, is in a heated… Read more
State Rep. John Driscoll and former state Rep. John Ahern are overshadowed in their election rematch by the intense battle for state Senate in the same district. Debates between Chris Marr and Michael Baumgartner, who are running for Senate in the 6th District, have been heated. Read more