On July 15, Republican Dino Rossi, who lost an extremely close contest for the governor's office last year, announced that he will not be a candidate for the U.S. Senate in the 2006 campaign.
In a letter sent to Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R.-N.C.), who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Rossi explained that he and his wife Terry do not want to disrupt their young family and that he is focused on improving Washington state from home, not from Washington, D.C.
"It is flattering to be considered and it would be an honor to serve Washington in the U.S. Senate," Rossi wrote to Dole. "However, there are two problems I don't believe can be overcome. The first is the effect it would have on my family. My wife and I have four children aged 14 to 4, and at this point in their lives it would be very difficult and disruptive to move them across the country. Second, I'm not sure how I can solve the problems I'm focused on -- making our state a better place to do business and improving opportunities for the people of Washington -- from the U.S. Senate. Right now I'm committed to turning this state around, and I need to stay here to accomplish that goal. For these reasons, I will not run for U.S. Senate in 2006."
Rossi added that he believed the ideal Senate candidate would have a mix of private sector and public service experience.
The incumbent is Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat. Cantwell won a narrow election victory over Republican Sen. Slade Gorton in 2000