Michael Baumgartner, current State Senator (6th‑R) and opponent to Maria Cantwell, came to Western Washington University today to talk to students with slightly grammatically incorrect campaign material.
A few students stopped to talk, but most students were huddled around the very enthusiastic evangelical preacher yelling to students in Red Square or were targets of three Mormon missionaries spreading their message across the square (who are normally viewed as quite bothersome by students). All this activity was quite a sight, and Baumgartner was relegated to one corner of the square.
Approaching Baumgartner to ask him about his views, he talked about ending the war in Afghanistan (actually a good way to speak to students) and about supporting education (but nothing about his support for the Zarelli budget which would have cut 30 million from higher education. He spoke a lot off fluff, but not much more.
Even if Baumgartner came on a more normal day, the response wouldn’t have been any more warm. The politics of Western aren’t favorable to a candidate of his ideology, and Baumgartner’s sponsoring of a bill which hurts reproductive rights, among other issues, will not sit well with students. Better luck next time.
Update: The Stranger has their own take on Baumgartner’s visit to campus.