Snoqualmie businessman Brad Toft to challenge State Sen. Cheryl Pflug in 2012

Brad Toft, a Snoqualmie businessman, will challenge incumbent State Senator Cheryl Pflug for a fifth district Senate seat in the 2012 general election. Toft committed to the race at an Oct. 21 tourism conference in Snoqualmie, and plans a formal announcement Thursday, Nov. 10.

Toft is a managing partner of Clearwater Mortgage Bankers in Belleveue, and has lived in Snoqualmie for nearly 10 years. He’s worked in financial services for 20 years, and served on the boards of Habitat for Humanity of East King County, Rotary of Snoqualmie Valley and the Snoqualmie Ridge Residential Owners Association. He’s also been the volunteer “Voice of the Wildcats” for the past two years for Mount Si High School varsity sports.

Toft said in a press release that he plans to focus his campaign on public education, the state budget, and the economy with specific attention for small business and jobs. He is running as a Republican.

Incumbent Senator Cheryl Pflug, also a Republican, was unaware that Toft had declared his candidacy. She said in a phone conversation Oct. 26 that she did plan to run for her seat again in 2012.

With a legislative special session coming up Nov. 28, and her role on the budget committee responsible for addressing the nearly $2 billion shortfall in projected revenues, Pflug said she was not focused on 2012 election issues just yet. She said she sent out a fund-raising e-mail message, “but I think we have some important work to do before then.”

During the special session, Pflug also hopes to bring up a Medicaid fraud bill that didn’t make it through the last special session, saying it would save the state “tens of millions of dollars in fraud recovery…. It won’t make up the difference, but those are the kinds of holes we need to plug.”

Pflug has served in the State Senate for the 5th District since 2004. She was a State Representative for the District from 1999 to 2004.

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