Washington State Senator Michael Baumgartner may be a relative newcomer to state politics, but he hopes that’s to his advantage as he considers a run for U.S. Senate.
Baumgartner made headlines last year as he ousted incumbent Democratic state senator Chris Marr in a heated and expensive legislative race. In his first legislative session, Baumgartner sponsored the bill go consolidate several state agencies and spoke out against giving colleges tuition-setting authority.
Baumgartner tells us, he’ll probably decide by October whether to jump into the race for U.S. Senate. While Republicans have already lined up candidates for governor and attorney general, the party has had a more difficult time finding the right candidate for Senate. Congressman Dave Reichert is considering the race, but Baumgartner says Reichert’s decision won’t factor into whether he gets in or not.
Historically, it has been challenging for eastern Washington candidates to run statewide races, but Baumgartner says that doesn’t deter him. He has another challenge if he decides to run—he has a new son, just three months old.
Up Front this week, our first discussion with Baumgartner about jobs, social issues and his political future.