MAJOR SHIFT IN WA US SEN RACE:

Challenger Garcia Closes Gap with Cantwell 39% – 30%

Yakima, WA – A new Cascade PBS/ Elway poll shows Washington voters increasingly open to change in the US Senate race, as Republican challenger Dr Raul Garcia closes the gap with incumbent Maria Cantwell to nine points.

Cantwell, first elected in 2000, managed only 39 percent support while Garcia came within striking distance at 30 percent.  Undecideds were at 28 percent.

The latest numbers indicate a dramatically tightening race: Last November, a Crosscut/ Elway poll had Cantwell with a 20-point lead over Garcia, at 43 percent to 23 percent.Garcia has made it a point to spend time in the more populous Western side of the state, frequently campaigning in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

A hospital Emergency Room physician in Toppenish who deals with drug, particularly Fentanyl, overdoses on a regular basis, Garcia has made the issue a centerpiece of his campaign and has seen it resonate with voters across the political spectrum. He is also focused on the high cost of living and moving away from extreme partisanship.

“People are ready for a change because the current system isn’t serving them or addressing their needs,” said Garcia. “Fentanyl is killing people across the state yet the response is inadequate at best. Inflation has made Washington one of the most expensive states to live in.

“Being a Democrat, Republican or Independent doesn’t matter if your loved one is addicted to or has died from Fentanyl, if your community is being harmed by rising crime, if you can barely afford to pay the bills anymore.

“This is a different kind of campaign — we’re talking with and listening to people as individuals, not as members of a political party. I believe voters are responding positively to our message because they want solutions and are tired of partisanship.”
Garcia, a refugee from Cuba who immigrated to the U.S. with his mother at age 11, has been a doctor in Emergency Medicine for 25 years. He is currently the Chief Medical Officer at Astria Toppenish Hospital. He is the father of five and lives with his wife Jessica in Yakima.