Maria Elaine Cantwell was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on October 13, 1958 to Paul and Rose Cantwell. Her father was very involved in politics, being a county commissioner, city councilman, state legislator, and Chief of Staff for representative Andrew Jacobs; it is safe to say politics has always been in her blood. She went to Emmerich Manual High School, and later attended Miami University in Ohio where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration. In 1983, she moved 500 miles away to Seattle, Washington in order to work for Alan Cranston in his campaign for the democratic presidential nomination (“Maria Cantwell”). She now currently lives in Edmonds, Washington. Cantwell is unmarried, and has no children; but she has never let that stop her political career.
In 1986, when she was only 28, Cantwell was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives. In order to win, she went door to door in her district to get her policies and beliefs across to the voters. Her hard work and door-to-door knocking habits paid off, she defeated George Dahlquist with 56% of the votes. In the following two elections she won re-election with over 60% of the votes. As a Washington State Representative, she was placed on the Growth Strategies Commission and worked on Washington’s Growth Management Act of 1990, which requires all state and local governments to identify and protect critical areas and natural resource land, and develop growth plans. She was detrimental in the passage of this act. During her time as state representative, she also worked on legislation adjusting nursing homes.
After her tenure in the Washington House of Representatives, Maria Cantwell beat Gary Nelson for U.S. House of representatives...
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...ted for policies regarding the Iraq war. In October 2002, she voted in favor of the Joint Resolution to authorize the use of the United States Armed Forces against Iraq. However, she stated that “Mr. President, my vote for this resolution does not mean that I am convinced of the Administration has answered all the questions. I believe the following issues must be addressed before the U.N. or the U.S. move forward with military action." (“Press Release”) She claimed she had six specific areas in which her concerned had yet to be addressed: continued multilateral approach, successful military strategy, a postwar commitment strategy, fighting the broader war on terrorism, maintaining middle east stability, and protecting Iraqi civilians. (“Press Release”). She also voted for the Levin-Reed amendment, which promoted for a phased withdrawal from Iraq by the end of year.
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