Former WH official Stanzel mulls Senate bid

Rachel Rose Hartman
The Ticket

Following rumors former George W. Bush aide Scott Stanzel was mulling a U.S. senate campaign in Washington state, the former White House deputy press secretary is sounding an awful lot like a candidate.

"I really think voters of this state are hungry for principled leadership which addresses the serious fiscal crisis which politicians like Maria Cantwell have caused," Stanzel said of the incumbent Democrat during an interview yesterday with CNN. "Sen. Cantwell and her allies are burying our children and grandchildren in a blizzard of debt that has got to stop."

Earlier this week, Stanzel put out a statement via his website (scottstanzel.com) that bears all the telltale rhetorical marks of  a stump speech:

Washington, DC, is broken. Voters of this state [Washington] are hungry for principled leadership which addresses the serious fiscal crisis that politicians like Sen. Cantwell have caused. Sen. Cantwell and her allies in our nation's capital are busy burying our children and grandchildren in a blizzard of debt. This has got to stop. Rather than tackle the big issues of getting Americans back to work and putting our economic house in order, it seems the only jobs program in Congress is the one where they try to preserve their own. We deserve better.

Stanzel also said on his site that for now he's focused on marrying his fiancée, Priscilla Jones, on Sept. 10 and will begin seriously considering a Senate bid sometime after that.

In addition to working for Bush, Stanzel's political experience includes running his own consulting business. He has never served in elected office.

Stanzel would begin a race against Cantwell as the underdog. The incumbent remains popular, and the state overall leans Democratic. Many thought Republicans had a strong shot at defeating Cantwell in 2006 at the hands of GOP nominee Mike McGavick. But Cantwell easily clinched a win in the general election, owing in large part to the incumbent's popularity and the number of Democratic voters in the state.

The candidate bench is virtually non-existent for statewide Republicans in Washington and no major Republican has announced a challenge to Cantwell.