Maria Cantwell

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Maria Cantwell
Maria Cantwell.jpg
U.S. Senate, Washington
In office
Term ends
January 3, 2019
Years in position 14
PredecessorT. Slade Gorton (R)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 7, 2000
Next generalNovember 2018
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives, Washington
Washington State House of Representatives
Bachelor'sMiami University of Ohio
Date of birthOctober 13, 1958
Place of birthIndianapolis, IN
Net worth$4,213,505
ReligionRoman Catholic
Office website
Campaign website
Maria Cantwell (b. October 13, 1958, in Indianapolis, IN) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Washington. Cantwell was first elected to the Senate in 2000 and is currently serving her third term.[1]

Cantwell is set to run for re-election in Washington in November of 2018.[2]

Prior to her election in the Senate Cantwell served as Senior Vice President of Consumer Products for RealNetworks from 1995-2000.[3]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Cantwell is one of the most reliable Democratic votes, meaning she can be considered a safe vote for the Democratic Party in Congress.


Cantwell was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, and earned her bachelor's degree from Miami University of Ohio.[4] After losing her 1994 bid for re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives, she pursued a career in the high-tech industry before returning to politics again in 2000.[5]


Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Cantwell serves on the following Senate committees[6]:



Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Cantwell voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89/8 vote on January 1, 2013.[7]



See also: United States Senate elections in Washington, 2012

Cantwell won re-election in 2012.[1] Washington's top-two primary system means that all candidates are included on one ballot. The top two vote-getters, regardless of party, continue to the general election. She and Michael Baumgartner advanced past the blanket primary, and Cantwell defeated Baumgartner in the general election on November 6, 2012.[8]

Cantwell had a $4.5 million advantage over any of her challengers.[9]

U.S. Senate, Washington, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMaria Cantwell Incumbent 60.5% 1,855,493
     Republican Michael Baumgartner 39.5% 1,213,924
Total Votes 3,069,417
Source: Washington Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Cantwell is available dating back to 2000. Based on available campaign finance records, Cantwell raised a total of $42,432,630 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 25, 2013.[12]

Maria Cantwell's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 U.S. Senate (Washington) Won $11,978,158
2006 U.S. Senate (Washington) Won $18,879,272
2000 U.S. Senate (Washington) Won $11,575,200
Grand Total Raised $42,432,630


Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2012 elections season. Below are Cantwell's reports.[13]

Maria Cantwell 2012 Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[14]March 31, 2012$4,029,121.41$1,231,794.24$(657,199.09)$4,603,716.56
July Quarterly[15]June 30, 2012$4,603,716.56$1,194,963.56$(606,503.37)$5,192,176.55
Running totals

Out-of-state donations

According to an Open Secrets report, Cantwell ranked among the top ten senate candidates receiving out-of-state donations during the 2012 election cycle. She received $3,768,144, or 54.9%, of her donations from outside of Washington. [16]


Breakdown of the source of Cantwell's campaign funds before the 2006 election.

Cantwell won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2006. During that re-election cycle, Cantwell's campaign committee raised a total of $18,879,272 and spent $16,712,061.[17]


Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Murray is a "rank-and-file Democrat" as of August 1, 2013.[18]

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[19]

Cantwell most often votes with:

Cantwell least often votes with:

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Cantwell missed 26 of 3,886 roll call votes from January 2001 to March 2013. This amounts to 0.7%, which is better than the median of 1.7% among current senators as of April 2013.[20]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Cantwell paid her congressional staff a total of $2,507,979 in 2011. She ranks 13th on the list of the lowest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranks 42nd overall of the lowest paid Senatorial Staff Salaries in 2011. Overall, Washington ranks 25th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[21]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Cantwell's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $1,737,012 and $6,689,999. That averages to $4,213,505, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic Senators in 2011 of $20,795,450. Her average net worth decreased by 31.64% from 2010.[22]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Cantwell's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $2,037,012 and $10,289,999. That averages to $6,163,505.50, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic Senators in 2010 of $19,383,524.[23]

National Journal vote ratings


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Cantwell was 1 of 2 members who ranked 11th in the liberal rankings in 2012.[24]


See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Cantwell ranked 35th in the liberal rankings.[25]

Voting with party


Cantwell voted with the Democratic Party 98.0% of the time, which ranked 4 among the 53 Senate Democratic members as of August 2013.[26]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Maria + Cantwell + Washington + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 The New York Times "Cantwell Declared Washington Victor," Accessed August 1, 2013
  2. Votesmart “Sen. Maria Cantwell,” Accessed August 1,2013
  3. Votesmart “Maria Cantwell Bio,” Accessed August 1,2013
  4. Biographical Directory of the United States Congress "Maria Cantwell," Accessed October 14, 2011
  5. "Maria Cantwell," Accessed October 14, 2011
  6. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 22, 2013
  7. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  8. AP Primary Results
  9. Seattle Times "Senate race Cantwell's to lose — unless Obama support craters," July 10, 2012
  10. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2006," accessed March 28, 2013
  11. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 7, 2000," accessed March 28, 2013
  12. Open Secrets "Donor history for Cantwell" Accessed April 25, 2013
  13. Federal Election Commission "Maria Cantwell's Summary Report," Accessed October 12, 2012
  14. Federal Election Commission "April Quarterly" Accessed October 12, 2012
  15. Federal Election Commission "July Quarterly" Accessed October 12, 2012
  16. Open Secrets, "More than 60 Lawmakers Relied Mostly on Out-of-State Money", May 7, 2013
  17. Open Secrets "Maria Cantwell 2006 Election Cycle," Accessed November 26, 2011
  18. Gov Track "Patty Murray," Accessed August 1, 2013
  19. OpenCongress, "Rep. Maria Cantwell," Accessed August 2, 2013
  20. GovTrack, "Maria Cantwell," Accessed April 11, 2013
  21. LegiStorm "Maria Cantwell"
  22., "Cantwell, (D-Washington), 2011"
  23., "Cantwell, (D-Wash), 2010"
  24. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  25. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," February 23, 2012
  26. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Slade Gorton
U.S. Senate - Washington
Succeeded by