For most of the summer, speculation about a Republican mystery candidate who might be contemplating a run against U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) has circulated with precious few real clues about who Candidate X might be. The waiting is over.

NW Daily Marker has learned that Phillip Yin – news reporter and anchor for Bloomberg Television and Washington native – is the latest to join a small field of Republicans to set their sights on unseating Cantwell next year.

It was 2:00 p.m.Wednesday for me and 5:00 a.m.  Thursday, when Yin spoke to me by phone from Hong Kong. (Yin has lived between Hong Kong and Seattle for career reasons.) During our brief conversation, Yin confirmed his interest in running to become Washington State’s next U.S. Senator and said the he will make that choice soon.

“We are in the final process of making a decision to run for the United State Senate,” Yin told me. Yin foresees making a firm decision about entering the race in mid-October.

Yin’s candidate toolkit is also impressive. MBA from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Strong record of local civic involvement. Hefty private sector experience with overlapping careers in investments and media. In fact, his level of personal achievement might elicit questions about why he would leave a successful career to run for public office. For Yin, improving the economic state of the nation is a necessity worth putting it all on the line.

“The track that America is on is certainly wrong, and we’re not going to fix the problems overnight but I think we can get moving at least in the right direction,” Yin said.

Yin’s name now sits among the comfortably small list of official “maybes” and speculated candidates.

State Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R-Spokane) recently announced his intention to form an exploratory committee as early as next month.

Former White House Deputy Press Secretary Scott Stanzel confirmed in July his interest in the race and committed to making a decision sometime after his late summer wedding that took place last weekend.

Finally, persistent talk about a possible entry into the race by Congressman Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) could continue because of developments in Washington State’s redistricting process. Three of the four proposed congressional maps released Tuesday by Washington State’s Redistricting Commission pushed a large part Reichert’s 8th Congressional District – currently situated in Eastern King County and portions of Pierce County – into Eastern Washington, changes that could affect Reichert’s decision to stay put or seek higher office.

Those sitting on the fence might also be emboldened to jump in after a recent poll of statewide voters found that only 38 percent of respondents felt that Cantwell deserves re-election. Washington State Republican Party Chair Kirby Wilbur shared the results from a Moore Information poll that was taken of 500 people in Washington State over September 10-11.