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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Washington Legislature, District 6, Senate

The Spokesman-Review

Even in the primary – when both candidates for the 6th Legislative Senate seat were guaranteed to move to the November election – the race between Chris Marr and Michael Baumgartner was quarrelsome.

Baumgartner won round one in the fight, garnering 53 percent of the primary vote. It’s only gotten more tense since then, with attack ads hitting the airwaves on both sides and heated debate exchanges.

Michael Baumgartner, 34


Bio: Newlywed. No children. Bachelor’s degree in economics, Washington State University; master’s in public administration, Harvard University. Business and military consultant. Former adviser for office of the crown prince of Dubai. Worked two years for i4, a company that had hoped to build a telecommunications network in Saudi Arabia. Consultant for Hecla Mining, economics officer for the U.S. State Department in Iraq. Worked for Civilian Police International, a State Department contractor, in Afghanistan. Website:

Issues: Opposes temporary taxes, such as the one on soda and candy that was instituted this year. Opposes tax increases to balance the budget. Opposes across-the-board budget cuts and says cuts should be targeted to agencies determined to be low priorities. Supports liquor privatization. Opposes income tax. Supports domestic partner law, but opposes gay marriage. Says he’s “not convinced” that humans have an impact on global warming.

Chris Marr, 56

Incumbent Democrat

Bio: Married. Two grown children. Received marketing bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration at San Francisco State University. Worked for McDonald’s Corp. for about four years. Moved to Spokane in 1980s to become sales manager for Lincoln and Mercury dealership. Eventually became president and co-owner of Foothills Auto Group. Former president of Greater Spokane Chamber of Commerce. Former Washington State University regent. Former chairman of state Transportation Commission. Won state Senate seat in 2006. Website:

Issues: Opposed most new taxes, including ones on soda and candy, implemented this year, but supported tobacco tax increase. Says he opposes “in general” tax increases as a way to balance budget. Supports cuts to General Assistance Unemployable Cash Assistance Program and elimination of certain tax breaks, like one on coal. Says state should be restructured to eliminate some management positions. Opposes income tax. Supports domestic partner law, but opposes gay marriage. Says state has a role in lessening the impact of global warming, but state’s current strategy is too costly.

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