Maria Cantwell discusses jobs at Issaquah campaign stop

November 2, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 12:30 p.m. Nov. 2, 2012

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell focused on the economy and education during a campaign stop at Issaquah’s Gilman Village early Friday, and urged voters to return ballots by the Tuesday deadline.

Maria Cantwell

Cantwell’s 26-city “Jobs for Washington” bus tour across the state stopped at the Issaquah Coffee Co. In remarks to a group of sign-toting supporters and local dignitaries, she emphasized efforts to aid small businesses since the economy collapsed in 2008.

“In my opinion, a lot of money went to Wall Street and the five big banks, and Main Street got the short end of the stick,” she said. “Well, we worked hard to try to correct that by passing a new bill to help support community banks who would lend to small business. In fact, that program helped banks from Issaquah to Bellingham increase their lending to small businesses by as much as 24 percent.”

The incumbent Democrat’s challenger in the race for a third term is Republican Michael Baumgartner, a freshman state senator from Spokane.

Cantwell said Eastside residents — and a workforce defined by Boeing engineers and Microsoft programmers — value quality education.

“We have a great deal of Boeing workers and engineers, a lot of Microsoft engineers, a lot of people who understand that our economy is built on making sure that we invest in the education level of our workforce,” she said.

In the Senate, Cantwell championed efforts to restore Pacific salmon — a concern in salmon-focused Issaquah, because thousands of Pacific salmon return to Issaquah Creek to spawn.

“We need to make sure that we’re continuing our focus on restoration,” she said after the campaign event. “This stream restoration helps improve the entire system, and it helps us support the efforts that we have at our hatcheries.”

The coffeehouse stop came not long before the Edmonds Democrat headed to the Kirkland waterfront to appear alongside other Democrats on the ballot next week, including gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee and 1st Congressional District contender Suzan DelBene.

Cantwell — a seasoned campaigner after tough contests in 2000 and 2006 — is favored to win another term. So, she also used the event to boost Issaquah City Councilman Mark Mullet’s bid to represent the 5th Legislative District in the state Senate. Mullet, a Democrat, is locked in a stinging campaign against Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft for the seat.

“I’m really grateful that Sen. Maria Cantwell came out today. This is the first time I’ve met her,” Mullet said. “I could try to pretend that this happens all the time to me. It does not.”

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