53 Facts About Maria Cantwell


Maria Ellen Cantwell is an American politician and former businesswoman serving as the junior United States senator from Washington since 2001.


Maria Cantwell served one term in Congress before losing her seat to Republican Rick White in the 1994 election.


Maria Cantwell defeated Republican incumbent Slade Gorton in one of the closest elections in the state's history.


Maria Cantwell is the second female senator from Washington, after Patty Murray.


Maria Cantwell was raised in a predominantly Irish American neighborhood on the south side of Indianapolis.


Maria Cantwell attended Emmerich Manual High School, and was inducted into the Indianapolis Public Schools Hall of Fame in 2006.


Maria Cantwell moved to Seattle, Washington, in 1983, to campaign for US Senator Alan Cranston in his unsuccessful bid for the 1984 Democratic presidential nomination.


Maria Cantwell then moved to the Seattle suburb of Mountlake Terrace, because it reminded her of Indianapolis, and led a successful campaign in 1986 to build a new library there.


In 1986, Maria Cantwell was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives at the age of 28.


Maria Cantwell resigned on January 3,1993, in preparation to be sworn in as a member of the United States House of Representatives.


Maria Cantwell became the first Democrat elected to the United States House of Representatives from Washington's first congressional district in 40 years.


Maria Cantwell supported President Clinton's 1993 budget, which raised taxes and passed without the votes of many Democrats.


Maria Cantwell wrote a letter to Vice President Al Gore and staunchly opposed it because Microsoft Inc was in her district.


Maria Cantwell voted for the North American Free Trade Agreement.


At the urging of party activists and officials, Maria Cantwell formed an exploratory committee in October 1999 to consider a run for US Senate against Democrat Insurance Commissioner Deborah Senn and incumbent Republican Senator Slade Gorton.


Maria Cantwell committed to the race on January 19,2000.


Maria Cantwell entered the campaign a year after Senn, who was endorsed by the Washington State Labor Council and NARAL, and used her personal wealth to fund television advertisements.


Early on, privacy became an issue; Senn cited her record protecting medical privacy as insurance commissioner, while Maria Cantwell promoted internet privacy and cited her opposition to the Clipper chip.


Senn later used television advertisements to accuse Maria Cantwell of avoiding debates, as she had agreed to two debates while Senn preferred more.


Maria Cantwell was endorsed by The Seattle Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Spokesman-Review, and The News Tribune.


Maria Cantwell adopted the slogan "Your voice for a change", a veiled reference to Gorton's campaign theme in 1980, challenging incumbent Warren Magnuson's age.


Maria Cantwell said Gorton supported "19th-century solutions to 21st-century problems".


Maria Cantwell was endorsed by The Seattle Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the state's two biggest newspapers.


Maria Cantwell spent over $10 million of her own money on her campaign, pledging not to accept money from PACs.


Maria Cantwell held a tiny lead in the initial returns on election night, but the race remained too close to call.


Maria Cantwell agreed to two debates with McGavick in Seattle and Spokane, lasting 60 and 30 minutes, respectively.


Maria Cantwell was reelected to a third term, defeating Republican State Senator Michael Baumgartner.


Maria Cantwell was reelected to a fourth term, defeating Republican Susan Hutchison.


Maria Cantwell was a proponent of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill of 2002, and co-sponsored the Clean Money, Clean Elections Act of 2001.


Maria Cantwell co-sponsored the "Pension Fairness and Full Disclosure Act of 2005".


Also in 2005, Maria Cantwell voted for the Central America Free Trade Agreement, which angered many who opposed free trade agreements.


In 2010, Maria Cantwell voted to invoke cloture to begin debate on the Don't ask, don't tell policy in the military.


On October 11,2002, Maria Cantwell voted in favor of the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq.


In 2006, Cantwell voted against the Kerry-Feingold Amendment to S 2766, which would have set a timetable for withdrawal, but for the Levin-Reed Amendment, which would encourage beginning a phased withdrawal by the end of the year, with no timetable for completion.


Maria Cantwell supports health care reform in the United States, and was a co-sponsor of Senator Ron Wyden's Healthy Americans Act.


On September 29,2009, when the Finance Committee considered health care reform legislation, Maria Cantwell supported amendments to establish a public health care option that would compete with private insurers.


In December 2005, Maria Cantwell scored what many perceived as one of the strongest victories of her first term when she blocked Alaska senator Ted Stevens's efforts to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.


Maria Cantwell managed to round up the votes of 41 Democrats and 2 Republicans, enough to block a final vote.


In 2004, Maria Cantwell received the highest rating possible from the League of Conservation Voters for her environmental voting record.


Maria Cantwell is known for supporting alternative energy research and for protecting Washington's forests from logging and the construction of paved roads and has earned endorsement from various prominent environmental advocacy groups and other environmental groups.


In September 2019, Maria Cantwell was one of eight senators to sign a bipartisan letter to congressional leadership, requesting full and lasting funding of the Land and Water Conservation Act, in order to aid national parks and public lands, benefit the $887 billion American outdoor recreation economy, and "ensure much-needed investment in our public lands and continuity for the state, tribal, and non-federal partners who depend on them".


In March 2021, Maria Cantwell was among the 42 Democrats to vote unsuccessfully to include a $15 hourly minimum wage in the American Rescue Plan.


Maria Cantwell has expressed support for making Plan B contraceptives available to girls 16 and under.


Maria Cantwell received criticism from her Republican challenger, State Senator Michael Baumgartner, who suggested that she was too extreme and too far to the left of Washington voters on this issue, and expressed concern about 11-year-olds getting these drugs without a prescription.


Maria Cantwell was one of 34 senators to vote against the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003, which President George W Bush signed into law in November 2003.


Maria Cantwell is a major supporter of fellow Democratic candidates for public office.


On December 31,2007, Maria Cantwell became the 10th senator to endorse Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.


Maria Cantwell supported Clinton throughout the primaries, but vowed to vote for the winner of the pledged delegates.


On October 20,2013, Maria Cantwell was one of 16 female Democratic senators to sign a letter endorsing Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee in the 2016 Presidential Election.


Maria Cantwell complained that jurors had not been sequestered, allowing them to view "negative news coverage" about Knox, and that one of the prosecutors had a misconduct case pending in relation to another trial.


Maria Cantwell said she would seek assistance from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


In 2006, it emerged that court files concerning a loan Maria Cantwell made in 2001 to her former boyfriend, boss, and campaign manager, lobbyist Ron Dotzauer, to help him through his divorce litigation, had been sealed.


Maria Cantwell was formerly in a relationship with Seattle-based track and cross country star Scott Daggatt, then serving as a stockbroker of a Seattle-based National Securities Corporation.