Safeco suffered two jolts last week–posting a nearly 25 percentdrop in quarterly earnings as Chief Executive Officer Mike McGavicksaid he would be leaving the carrier, reportedly to explore apossible run for the U.S. Senate.

Insurance industry sources in Washington said Mr. McGavick willhave an exploratory committee consider whether he should seek theRepublican nomination to run against U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, aDemocrat. The Seattle Times reported that he is the GOP consensuscandidate.

Seattle-based Safeco produced net income in the second quarterof $187.3 million, compared to $247 million in the same period lastyear. It attributed the poorer showing to declining investmentincome and a rising but still impressive combined ratio.

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