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Washington: Baird Could Get First Competitive Race in ’10

Former Bush administration official David Castillo has filed to run against Rep. Brian Baird. Castillo is the first serious Republican to challenge the Democrat in several cycles.

“I am running because we deserve a new voice. A voice for people who believe that government is growing too big and taxes are too high,— Castillo said in a statement on his Web site.

Castillo was an official at the Department of Homeland Security and served as deputy assistant secretary at the Veterans Affairs Department under President George W. Bush. He currently works at an investment firm.

The National Republican Congressional Committee has had preliminary conversation with Castillo, according to a source familiar with the interaction. The national party views Baird as potentially vulnerable, especially given that he has not faced a competitive challenge in several cycles.

President Barack Obama won Baird’s district with 52 percent of the vote; however, Bush carried it with 50 percent and 48 percent in 2004 and 2000, respectively.

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