Tag: Scott Stanzel


Bloomberg TV Anchor Phillip Yin Confirms Interest in Senate Run to Unseat Cantwell in 2012

For most of the summer, speculation about a Republican mystery candidate who might be contemplating a run against U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) has circulated with precious few real clues about who Candidate X might be. The waiting is over.

NW Daily Marker has learned that Phillip Yin – news reporter and anchor for Bloomberg Television and Washington native – is the latest to join a small field of Republicans to set their sights on unseating Cantwell next year.

It was 2:00 p.m.Wednesday for me and 5:00 a.m.  Thursday, when Yin spoke to me by phone from Hong Kong. (Yin has lived between Hong Kong and Seattle for career reasons.) During our brief conversation, Yin confirmed his interest in running to become Washington State’s next U.S. Senator and said the he will make that choice soon.

“We are in the final process of making a decision to run for the United State Senate,” Yin told me. Yin foresees making a firm decision about entering the race in mid-October.

Yin’s candidate toolkit is also impressive. MBA from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Strong record of local civic involvement. Hefty private sector experience with overlapping careers in investments and media. In fact, his level of personal achievement might elicit questions about why he would leave a successful career to run for public office. For Yin, improving the economic state of the nation is a necessity worth putting it all on the line.

“The track that America is on is certainly wrong, and we’re not going to fix the problems overnight but I think we can get moving at least in the right direction,” Yin said.

Yin’s name now sits among the comfortably small list of official “maybes” and speculated candidates.

State Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane) recently announced his intention to form an exploratory committee as early as next month.

Former White House Deputy Press Secretary Scott Stanzel confirmed in July his interest in the race and committed to making a decision sometime after his late summer wedding that took place last weekend.

Finally, persistent talk about a possible entry into the race by Congressman Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) could continue because of developments in Washington State’s redistricting process. Three of the four proposed congressional maps released Tuesday by Washington State’s Redistricting Commission pushed a large part Reichert’s 8th Congressional District – currently situated in Eastern King County and portions of Pierce County – into Eastern Washington, changes that could affect Reichert’s decision to stay put or seek higher office.

Those sitting on the fence might also be emboldened to jump in after a recent poll of statewide voters found that only 38 percent of respondents felt that Cantwell deserves re-election. Washington State Republican Party Chair Kirby Wilbur shared the results from a Moore Information poll that was taken of 500 people in Washington State over September 10-11.



Washington U.S. Senate Race: GOP Closer to Finding a Candidate

Republicans in Washington State do not yet have a declared candidate to challenge U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell next year, but the list of potential contenders continues to grow.

State Senator Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane) is testing the waters now with the possible formation of an exploratory committee reported yesterday by NW Daily Marker. Though Baumgartner has only been in public office for less than a full term he brings with him a youthful charismatic image that partners well with an impressive personal history. A check this morning of BaumgartnerForSenate.com finds a site under construction.

In interviews given to NW Daily Marker, Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) has categorically left the door open to consider jumping in, but using the same analogy has not stepped out onto the front stoop to address issues in the race. He has, however, voiced a desire to continue growing Washington’s influence in Congress from his seat on Ways and Means. Because of population shifts in Washington, this year’s redistricting could result in some significant changes to the makeup of Reichert’s 8th District, a factor that could have great weight in Reichert’s ultimate decision.

The only potential entrant who has made public statements directed squarely at Cantwell and her record has been Seattle-based media consultant and former White House deputy press secretary Scott Stanzel. Stanzel’s identification with voters is very low, but observers should not discount the effect of free media. When his name began to circulate as a person of interest, a week-long drip-drip of media coverage followed (including a boost from conservative pundit Dana Perino) and he was not shy about speaking with the press. Stanzel has consistently said he will make a decision about the race shortly after his wedding in early September.

Buzz around former television anchor and 2009 King County Executive candidate Susan Hutchison has subsided, as has similar talk that Port of Seattle Commission President Bill Bryant might run to unseat Cantwell.

A sixth mystery candidate continues to fly below the radar, though public chatter on social media last week indicated that party insiders have met with Candidate X.

Still, not one candidate has done more than tip-toe around the idea of possibly thinking about considering a run to challenge a well-heeled but politically vulnerable sitting U.S. Senator at a time when congressional approval ratings are shockingly low.

It is now September 2nd, a year and a several days away from the 2012 general election. There has not been a public poll of the potential field since late spring. Getting in or staying out may boil down to a gut-check by those on the long list of maybes. Those who believe enough in their own chances to win over Washington’s complex electorate will need to take a measured leap of faith, and maybe that’s the proper litmus test.



Possible Challenger to Cantwell Criticizes President on Martha’s Vineyard Vacation

Former White House spokesman and potential U.S. Senate candidate Scott Stanzel offered President Barack Obama some free public relations advice Thursday. During another tough economic summer, choosing a staycation would be a better way for Obama to show the country he is with them and not above them, Stanzel suggested.

On Politico.com’s discussion forum “The Arena” Stanzel chided the commander-in-chief for his controversial late summer jaunt on a posh Martha’s Vineyard vacation.

“At a time when most Americans can barely afford a vacation that doesn’t involve pitching a tent in their backyard,” Stanzel wrote. “President Obama isn’t doing himself any public relations favors by choosing to vacation in one of the country’s most exclusive and expensive destinations.”

NW Daily Marker originally broke the news that Stanzel — currently a Seattle media and communications consultant — might be considering a run to challenge Sen. Maria Cantwell in 2012. Stanzel confirmed his interest to Roll Call several days later. Stanzel has consistently said that he will not make a decision on coming in to the race until after his September wedding to his bride-to-be who he says is “the woman of my dreams.”

Opinions of his viability range from the firm caution his former White House boss and Fox News contributor Dana Perino gave to those who would underestimate his candidacy, to University of Washington pollster Matt Barreto’s severe handicapping of the race in favor of Cantwell.



Dana Perino Warns Democrats to Beware Taking Stanzel Lightly Against Cantwell

Though Seattle public relations consultant and former White House deputy press secretary is postponing any official decision to enter Washington’s U.S. Senate race against Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) until after his September wedding, support from Republican luminaries has already begun to coalesce around the mere mention of his potential candidacy.

Stanzel’s former boss, former White House press secretary Dana Perino, gave a glowing assessment of the man and his chances to The Daily Caller Tuesday, saying about a possible Stanzel for Senate campaign, “I’m in.”

Perino said that she has known Stanzel for 10 years and regards him highly — both personally and professionally.

“I think he could organize an excellent campaign, raise money, and give the incumbent a hell of a race,” Perino said.

“As a member of the White House Press Office team, he shined,” Perino added. “He is governed by a solid set of conservative principles, and he also understands how best to communicate ideas.”

Perino pointed to the tax initiative as one example of his electoral prowess. “He turned around the proposition to increase taxes on just a few in the state — the campaign wasn’t going that well until he kicked them into gear, and then the proposition failed big-time,” she said.

A spokesman for Cantwell’s office was not immediately available for comment. But Perino offered a word of caution to naysayers: “Sure, he may be a ‘dark horse’ candidate – but that’s what you want in an election year like this one. Beware Democrats at the DSCC before you scoff at the notion of a Stanzel candidacy.”

The news of Stanzel’s possible challenge to 10-year incumbent Democrat Cantwell was first broken by NW Daily Marker last Friday and confirmed by the Associated Press by Monday morning. Since the AP story, Stanzel’s ‘maybe’ has begun to sound more yes-ish:

“I have spoken with leaders in this state and my former White House colleagues about the idea of running for the United States Senate,” Stanzel told The Daily Caller Tuesday.

Even the left-wing response seems to admit that Stanzel’s local political work could form a good foundation with Washington State voters. Beyond the typical snark is an admission that Stanzel possesses a track record of sound fiscal guardianship that polling indicates Republicans and Democrats are longing for. From Horsesass.org Tuesday:

If you recognize the name Scott Stanzel at all, it is probably because he was the campaign manager for Defeat 1098, the group credited with defeating the Washington state high earner’s income tax initiative (I-1098). The up-side for Stanzel is that he has a track record on a “populist” issue in Washington state.



Former W.H. Deputy Press Sec. Scott Stanzel Mentioned As Possible Challenger to Cantwell

A new name has surfaced among potential Republican challengers to Sen. Maria Cantwell in 2012. According to sources in Republican circles, Seattle-based political consultant and former White House deputy press secretary Scott Stanzel is being speculated as one potential dark horse candidate to run against the incumbent Democrat.

At a time when Democrats nationwide are pinned down in the crossfire of tax-and-spend policies and economic bad news, Stanzel’s credentials on fiscal issues could earn him clout with Washington voters. As a prominent voice in the “No on 1098” campaign, he helped to persuade 64% of voters to reject the creation of a state income tax, overcoming early polling that had the statewide initiative passing by as much as 30 points. He is frequently described as having an affable and magnetic persona, in addition to being media-friendly, elements that would match-up well against Cantwell’s tendency for withdrawing from public scrutiny.

If interested, Stanzel could have the early run of the Republican field in the race.

Washington State Party Chair Kirby Wilbur killed erroneous buzz begun this week about his own intentions, telling me in no uncertain terms that he was not interested in doing anything but supporting any candidates who chose to run.

The most frequently mentioned name—former television newcaster and King County Executive candidate Susan Hutchison—all but took her name out of the race when speaking to Jim Brunner of The Seattle Times.

As of yesterday, an aide to 8th Congressional District Rep. Dave Reichert (R) was still referring back to earlier comments about whether he has considered a run against Cantwell, statements that amount to a qualified maybe. Even if Reichert jumps in, his bumpy relationship with grassroots conservatives over controversial votes would invite a primary challenge with an uncertain outcome.

And though rumors of a mystery candidate have bubbled for weeks, one whose appeal could expand the GOP base, until Candidate X steps forward, opportunity still exists.



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