Safeco CEO Mike McGavick's departure seems to indicate that he wants to run against Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell.

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Safeco CEO Mike McGavick is stepping down effective Aug. 31 “to give full consideration to the possibility of public service,” he said this afternoon.

He will remain chairman of the company and provide transitional leadership until at least the end of the year.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that my greatest contribution to Safeco has already been achieved,” he said in a press release.

McGavick’s departure seems to indicate that he wants to run against Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell. Republican Dino Rossi said Friday that he will not run, and McGavick appears to be the leading choice among Republicans.

A search is under way for a new CEO, Safeco said in the announcement, which came shortly after the market’s 1 p.m. close.

Safeco also announced second-quarter earnings of $187.3 million, or $1.46 per diluted share, down 24 percent from the same quarter a year ago.

Melissa Allison: 206-464-3312 or mallison@seattletimes.com.