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Former Republican state house majority leader Dale Foreman has endorsed Democratic US Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) over her Republican challenger state Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R-6, Spokane).

Foreman, who now runs a fruit company, is quite a get for Cantwell—and quite a snub for the Republican candidate. Foreman was a Republican rep for four years and was majority leader from 1994 to 1996. He was state GOP chairman from 1996 to 2000.

Peter Callaghan at the Tacoma News Tribune has a story on the news and summarizes that Foreman believes Cantwell has been an ally of the fruit industry in Washington State. Foreman is also mad that Republicans have been cool to the pending farm bill.

Callaghan writes:

Foreman, now 64 and a tree-fruit farmer himself, says he is supporting Cantwell because she has supported the Central Washington tree fruit industry. He also said he is sending a message to Republicans in Congress that their failure to pass a farm labor bill will cost it the support of a traditionally Republican ag industry.

“Republicans, except from our neck of the woods, have been pretty negative toward ag labor reform,” Foreman told Wheat. “Democrats have been more open. We need some compromise bill that will allow our crops to get picked.”

He also reports that Foreman threw a fundraiser for Cantwell.
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