Senator has strong record of helping Southwest Washington
The Columbian (Editorial) - After 12 years in the U.S. Senate, Washington Democrat Maria Cantwell has the power of incumbency, proven success in issues critical to the Northwest, ample fundraising energy and polls superiority working in her favor. That's making the fall campaign mighty daunting for Michael Baumgartner, a well-prepared, articulate and exceptionally bright state senator with a promising future in politics.Against a lesser foe, Baumgartner would be a frontrunner. The Spokane Republican showed such a strength in 2010 when he defeated Democrat state Majority Whip Chris Marr in the most expensive legislative race in state history.
But Cantwell's credentials and clout are too much to overcome. The Columbian endorses Cantwell for a third term in the Senate, partly because of her familiarity with Southwest Washington. Her many accomplishments here include assisting improvements at the Port of Vancouver, promoting freight mobility and encouraging international trade.
Baumgartner has a sterling record as a diplomat in the Middle East, but he hasn't gained much traction in the campaign. He trailed Cantwell by 25 percentage points in the primary (12.7 points in Clark County), lost to her in Spokane County (which he serves as state senator) and last week was behind by 20 points in a Rasmussen Reports poll.
Earlier in her Senate career, Cantwell displayed expertise in complex fields such as energy regulation. In her second term, she also became effective in trade issues. This year she guided the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank that helps many companies in this corner of the country.
Cantwell often displays a wonkish, low profile. She leaves partisan bickering to more boisterous office holders. She's a hard worker, understands our community and warrants a return to the Senate.
As one of the most beautiful states in the union–and one of the richest in natural resources–Washington has a special interest in energy and environmental policy. And Maria has fought hard to uphold the state’s conservation tradition, while also working to bring our energy policy into the 21st century.
Maria knows Washington’s business community – because, as an executive at an innovative software company, she was part of it. And as a Senator, she’s led the way in helping businesses large and small throughout Washington grow, thrive, and create jobs.
Maria has taken a leadership role on safety and security issues, including defending our borders, strengthening our military, cracking down on gangs, and taking on drug crime in Washington communities.
Middle-class families around Washington and across the country are facing tough times–and tough decisions about balancing the family checkbook each month. Maria has fought to strengthen the economic security of Washington families and cut taxes for middle-class families.