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Jerry Cornfield | jcornfield@heraldnet.com
Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 9:38 a.m.

Businessman making run against McAuliffe

Guy Palumbo, the owner of Roscoe's Ranch boarding facility for dogs, is off to a quick start in fund raising for his campaign to unseat state Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell.

And Monday the 38-year-old Palumbo launched his candidate web site and threw a light jab at the veteran lawmaker.

“Our legislators are proving that they can't do their jobs. Washington State faces some serious challenges and needs new leadership to move the state forward into this new decade and beyond,” he said in a statement.

Palumbo, who lives in unincorporated Snohomish County near Maltby, is making his first run for public office. He serves on the Snohomish County Planning Commission and is a volunteer on the legislative advocacy committee of the PTA chapter for his eldest son's elementary school.

Palumbo faces quite a challenge not only because he's taking on an incumbent lawmaker who has won several elections but also because he's running as an Independent rather than as a candidate of the Democratic or Republican parties.

“I know it's an uphill battle. I think the time is right,” he said.

Palumbo had raised $32,651 as of the end of February, according to reports filed online with the state Public Disclosure Commission.

By comparison, McAuliffe had only collected $4,350 for this campaign. However, she's had her fundraising hands pretty much tied since November due to the freeze on lawmakers getting contributions during regular and special sessions.

There is a Republican, Brian Travis, and a Democrat, Jacob Bond, who've filed paperwork for this race but neither has reported raising any money.

Palumbo isn't shying away from an issue in McAuliffe's wheelhouse - education. She is chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee.

“Senator McAuliffe has served in the legislature for almost 20 years. While I admire her service, her leadership has become clouded by special interest bias,” he said in the statement sent out Monday. “This could not be clearer than in her handling, or better said, her blocking of the new teacher and principal evaluation bill this past session. Instead of creating forward progress for our schools, she chose to shut down her K-12 committee despite bipartisan support for the bill. Our children's future is at risk when one person chooses to singlehandedly block all forward progress for the more than 1 million school children in this state.”

By the end of regular session, McAuliffe did help advance a new law to toughen the state's evaluation system for teachers and principals.

Charter schools is a matter on which they disagree. Palumbo supports them and McAuliffe doesn't. He said he would have voted for the bill that McAuliffe would not allow to be voted on her committee.

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