SEATTLE -- It appears U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell has attracted a new challenger. Republican Phillip Yin plans to announce his candidacy within a couple weeks.
Yin comes from the financial world, having managed money at Paine Webber, Charles Schwab and most recently he was a news anchor in Asia for Bloomberg News. He officially quit his job last week and came home to Washington state to launch his U.S. Senate campaign.
The Yakima native and UW grad says the official announcement is still a couple weeks away.
"We're in the process of putting and finalizing our team together, we've got a great team that we've put together thus far, and we're hoping to add additional team members as the days move ahead," said Yin.
As a financial manager and TV business anchor he has never held public office before, but Yin doesn't believe that's a requirement for the U.S. Senate.
"That experience in the private sector is exactly what we need right now in Washington state," he said.
In regards to Obama's plan to raise some corporate and income taxes, Yin said he believes there are some tax loopholes that may be worth closing, and what needs scrutiny is how government spends its money.
"Focus on education -- number one. Number two, provide incentives for companies to add people to their workforce," he said.
Yin has spent the past several years working in Asia, but insists he understands the issues facing America.
"I've spent 30 years here in Washington state in total, and as an international journalist, we've added some frequent flier miles, but at the same time, I view that as an asset," said Yin.
Just a few weeks ago, Republican Michael Baumgartner of Spokane said he is possibly looking at a U.S. Senate run. Baumgartner just got elected to the state legislature last year and has spent several years in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So the Republicans have two potential candidates who have been out of the country a fair amount and have little or no political experience. But in 2012, with the public so frustrated at government, Republicans are wondering if this might be the year for a political outsider.