Although he’s been raising money for nearly a year, state Sen. Mike Baumgartner makes it official Thursday with a formal kickoff breakfast for his re-election campaign.
Republican Baumgartner, 38, was elected to the 6th District seat in 2010, defeating incumbent Democrat Chris Marr in what became the most expensive legislative race that year. In the minority his first two years, Baumgartner has been a member of the coalition of Republicans and two disaffected Democrats who controlled the Senate for the last two.
He serves as a vice chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and a member of the Higher Education Committee.
Democrat Rich Cowan, former chief executive officer of North by Northwest film company, is running against Baumgartner. Public Disclosure records show Baumgartner has raised about $106,000 and Cowan almost $65,000.
Both have an unsuccessful congressional run on their resume from 2012. Baumgartner ran against U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and Cowan against U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.
The 6th District includes most of Spokane’s South Hill above 14th Avenue, Moran Prairie, Airway Heights, Cheney, Medical Lake and much of the West Plains, parts of north Spokane city and Mead.