Bailey will challenge Haugen for Senate seat

Republican state Rep. Barbara Bailey of Oak Harbor today launched a campaign to unseat Democratic Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen of Camano Island this fall

Bailey, who is in her 10th year in the House, made the announcement at the San Remo restaurant in Oak Harbor.

“It’s not about taking on Senator Haugen. It’s about taking on the Senate Democrats in order for us to move forward for our state,” Bailey said in an interview shortly before speaking to supporters. “I based my decision on what’s the right thing to do for the state right now.”

Haugen is in her 20th year in the Senate. As chairwoman of the Senate Transportation Committee, she’s become one of the chamber’s most influential voices.

“I plan to run,” Haugen said this morning. “Voters will have to decide who will serve the district the best.”

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