Washington: One More Digital Divide

A tech millionaire takes on Senator Microsoft

Maria Cantwell is not your typical Internet whiz kid. At 42, she's more like an Internet whiz-kid's high school principal. Sit down to interview her, and you get a moment of silence before she answers each question with a disarming smile. You'd never guess that Cantwell, Washington State's Democratic Senate candidate, is an executive on leave from RealNetworks, the Seattle-based Internet giant--and the first dotcom millionaire with a shot at winning major political office.

Her opponent, the incumbent Slade Gorton, is old enough at 72 to be grandfather to the average tech geek. Yet he's the best friend Microsoft has in...

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