By Jerry Cornfield Herald Writer
OLYMPIA — Four years ago, Republican Dave Schmidt lost his seat in the state Senate to Lake Stevens Democrat Steve Hobbs.
Now, Schmidt is out to win it back and pledges to run a better campaign
“In 2006, the political environment was very rough for Republicans,” Schmidt said in a statement accompanying his formal announcement. “And I did not work as hard as I should have in the campaign. I will not make that mistake again.”
Schmidt said voters are tired of Democratic lawmakers fighting over how to raise taxes rather than how to reduce the size and costs of government.
While Hobbs has voted against tax hike proposals it won’t make him immune to what his party is doing, Schmidt said.
Schmidt served four terms in the state House of Representatives and captured the Senate seat in 2002.
He began seriously considering the race after a February poll showed him besting Hobbs in a hypothetical match-up. The political arm of the Senate Republican Caucus conducted the survey.
Hobbs said last week he isn’t surprised at Schmidt’s decision.
“I’m not too worried about it. I need to focus on finishing this special session,” he said Wednesday.
Schmidt lost by 2,000 votes despite having the advantage of incumbency and the backing of the powerful teacher and health care worker unions and environmental groups.
Those groups have been frustrated by Hobbs’ voting record, yet the freshman senator said he’s “absolutely not worried” they might endorse Schmidt again.
For Schmidt, he will not be starting completely from scratch. He said he has campaign signs and a Web site, although its content is all from the 2006 election.
Schmidt, who currently lives in Edmonds, will need to move back into the district and change his voter registration before the official filing period for candidates arrives this summer.
Hobbs knew this, too, and didn’t miss the chance to toss a light jab.
“I look forward to debating the issues with Dave Schmidt as soon as he moves into the district,” he said.
Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the Web
Here are Web sites for both candidates:
Dave Schmidt: www.daveschmidt.org
Sen. Steve Hobbs: www.electhobbs.com