Senator Maria Cantwell is up for re-election next year in a very important election The Democrats need to retain all their seats and win a few more. Because she won by such a small margin over incumbent Slate Gorton in 2000, she has been targeted by the national Republicans.

I first met Maria Cantwell when I was an activist (and later Chairman) of the 32nd Legislative District Democrats (now the 1st District). She was a young, idealistic, and very cute leader of the Alan Cranston for President Campaign in Washington State. A few years later she was back again as the leader of the campaign to elect Brock Evans to Congress, unforunately again unsuccessful.

Maria Cantwell was always very impressive, even when she could only afford one suit. I enthusiastically backed her when she ran successfully for the State Senate from Montlake Terrace, and later went to Congress. I fondly remember one fundraiser in particular when I had the fortune to meet with Gloria Steinem, who was in town to help her raise some money.

Maria was swept out in the Republican landslide of 1994. You remember those unfortunate events that led to the Republicans Contract on America. Well, Maria took that opportunity to go to work for Real Networks and make her fortune. A few years later she took on Slate Gorton, and in a very close campaign, was elected to the US Senate. Like most Democrats, i was extremely elated to have Marian Cantwell as our Junior Senator.

She is having a fundraiser on September 18th with very special guests New York Senator Charles Schumer and Illinois Senator Rich Durbin.