City: Spokane, WA
Education: Graduated from Pullman High School in 1995, after attending Gonzaga Prep for two years. Graduated from Washington State University in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Graduated from Harvard University in 2002 with a master’s degree in public administration.
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. Provided pre-deployment advisory to U.S. military on counterinsurgency. Lecturer on counterinsurgency at Sciences Po University in Paris.
Political experience: Elected to state Senate in 2010, unseating Democratic incumbent Chris Marr. Unsuccessfully challenged Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell in 2012. Previously served as vice chairman of Senate Ways and Means Committee and chairman of Commerce and Labor committee.
Family: Married. Has four children.
The Inland Northwest’s congressional delegation remained intact Tuesday, with incumbents coasting to victories in early returns. On the Washington side, voters gave new terms to Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, of Spokane.
SEATTLE – Republican Mike Baumgartner repeatedly criticized Sen. Maria Cantwell on Friday for “going to war on a credit card” in Iraq and Afghanistan, and called for a 1-cent-per-gallon tax on gasoline to help fund the troops. “The country has not gone to war,” Baumgartner said, trying to turn much of the only debate in Washington’s U.S. Senate campaign into a discussion about Afghanistan. The military, and their families, bear the brunt of the two conflicts, he said.
Holy smokes! Did you catch last week’s herbal announcement from State Sen. Michael Bongartner?
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell will debate her Republican challenger, state Sen. Mike Baumgartner, at least once this fall. The Cantwell campaign announced last week it has agreed to an Oct. 12 debate in Seattle on its public television station, which will be taped and shown on other public television stations around the state. The station and the League of Women Voters of Seattle, which are co-sponsoring the debate, will each provide a moderator.
In recent weeks, the 2,000th American soldier died in Afghanistan. And Michael Baumgartner used one expletive.
(COLUMNIST’S WARNING – Attention, kids! Today’s epistle is about a certain word that you hear from sailors on leave or at Vegas parties with naked Prince Harry. But we’ve replaced that word with words that sound naughty, but aren’t. So you’ll definitely want to make some notes and then go ask Mom and Dad to explain what everything means.) I’ve wasted a lot of hours over the years grousing about how politicians are such worthless (pricklouses) who never say what they mean.
If you haven’t heard this yet, you will soon. A politician will proclaim this the Most Important Election in your lifetime. Or in a generation. Or since World War II. They might say “of the century,” but that’s really not much, because the century is only 12 years old, so they’ll probably substitute “of the last hundred years.”
Incumbents representing Washington and Eastern Washington in Congress advanced easily in Tuesday’s primary to the general election, but their November opponents say they’re confident that the races aren’t over. U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, won 54 percent of the vote in a four-way primary race to retain her seat representing Washington’s 5th Congressional District. She will face Democrat Rich Cowan, the founder of North by Northwest Productions, who took 35 percent of the vote. McMorris Rodgers and Cowan eliminated two long-shot candidates.
For Michael Baumgartner, the challenge he faces in winning Washington’s U.S. Senate seat could be as formidable as the mountains that bisect the state. Democrat Maria Cantwell is a well-funded, two-term incumbent in a state that most national political experts color deep blue. She beat a GOP icon, Slade Gorton, to win the seat in 2000 and dispatched a well-known Republican challenger, Seattle business executive Mike McGavick, in 2006.