Report: GOP state senator to challenge Cantwell

SEATTLE — A junior Republican state senator from Spokane is set to announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, challenging Democrat incumbent Maria Cantwell.

KING 5 reports that Sen. Michael Baumgartner will announce his candidacy on Monday. Baumgartner was elected to the state Senate in 2010, ousting a Democrat in one of the most expensive legislative races in history. He has served one session in Olympia.

Baumgartner was born in Pullman, attended Washington State University before going to Harvard and launching a career in international policy, working in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Cantwell won her U.S. Senate seat in 2000 by beating incumbent Republican Slade Gorton.

Baumgartner will be the first to officially throw his name in the ring. Republican Rep. Dave Reichert, who has fended strong challenges from democrats in his district, continues to consider a run. And Bloomberg anchor Phillip Yin also tells KING 5 he is preparing to run for the office.

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