Michael Baumgartner vs. Rich Cowan

Michael BaumgartnerIllustration by Lauren Campbell

With the Nov. 4 election day approaching, the race for the sixth district state senate seat between incumbent Michael Baumgartner, R, and challenger Rich Cowan, D, is coming to a close.

Baumgartner is running for his second term as a state Senator. He was first elected in 2010 and is credited with creating a plan that kept college tuition from rising for the first time in nearly 30 years, and he secured the funding to build Spokane’s new four-year medical school, according to Baumgartner’s campaign page.

Former Governor Christine Gregoire spoke highly of Baumgartner’s education reform bill when she called it the “most significant transformation of state government in 20 years,” according to Baumgartner’s campaign page.

Baumgartner’s biggest goal is to create more jobs. “As your Senator, creating job opportunities continues to be my number one priority,” said Baumgartner on his site.

A challenger of the Affordable Care Act, Baumgartner said, “I’ll continue to work to mitigate the damage done by this federal intrusion into our hospitals and doctors’ offices, and work to ensure that patients are able to choose the doctors they want and treatments they need.”

Another issue Baumgartner is keen to fix is education: “To get our education system back up to the top, we need serious changes that start with the government,” he said.

According to Baumgartner’s site, his priorities for education are to create reforms that benefit students, focus on education to prepare students for jobs and reduce college costs.

A father of two and a native resident of Spokane, Baumgartner hopes to have the opportunity to serve the area again, according to his campaign page.
Rich CowanIllustration by Lauren Campbell

Baumgartner’s competitor, Cowan, is also a Spokane native. He is co-founder of North by Northwest, a video and film production company based in Spokane, according to Cowan’s campaign page.

Cowan’s campaign page reports him featured as one of the “Power 25” business professionals in the region by Inland Business Catalyst Magazine.

According to Cowan’s campaign page, he said, “When I started my production company, I was motivated to grow an industry, stimulate our economy and create jobs that would allow people to raise their families in the Spokane area.”

Cowan does not want to stop there, though, he wants everyone in Spokane to have jobs and stimulate the economy.

“I am deeply concerned about so many of our family, friends and neighbors who were hit hard by the recession and continue to fall further behind,” he said on his campaign site. “I will apply my skills through service in the Washington State Senate so that many other Spokane-area employers, employees and all facets of our society can succeed.”

Cowan said on his campaign site, “Job-creation, education and transportation are among my top priorities. These areas are in great need of improvement if we are to grow and strengthen our middle-class.”