Freshman state Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R-6, Spokane) tells KING 5's Robert Mak  he'll officially announce he's running against US Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) on Monday.

Baumgartner, a Harvard economics Teaching Fellow who worked as an adviser in Iraq and Afghanistan, defeated Democratic incumbent Chris Marr in November 2010. Baumgartner was a hardline fiscal conservative in Olympia last session who occasionally colored outside party lines—voting with greens on the coal tar sealant bill and the very cool (in our editorial opinion) oil spill bill, and with hippies on the medical marijuana bill.

In the interview with Mak, Baumgartner, 35, accused Cantwell (who led the fight for Wall Street regulations like the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall and the cap and dividend bill) of environmental and regulatory "extremism."

We recently spoofed Baumgartner for the lackluster reception he got on Twitter when he floated his intentions to run for US Senate.

Bloomberg business reporter Phillip Yin has also said he's going to run against Cantwell.

Sen. Cantwell has $2.2 million cash on hand, according to the Federal Elections Commission.
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