US primaries: Patty Murray, Tiffany Smiley to clash in Washington midterms
- Washington follows a "top two" primary format
- Patty Murray is seeking her sixth term in the Senate
- Washington has not elected a Repubican Senator in over 3 decades
Patty Murray and Tiffany Smiley will meet in Washington's midterm elections in November. The two were ranked in the top spots in Tuesday's primary election, evenly dividing the ballot between the Democratic and Republican parties.
US Senator Patty Murray, 71, will fight to retain her seat in the upper legislative chamber and start her sixth term. Republican Tiffany Smiley, 38, will attempt to break the stronghold maintained by Washington Democrats over the last three decades.
Both Murray and Smiley prevailed in Washington’s top-two primary system in which the two candidates with the most votes in the election move on to the November ballot, regardless of party. In early results, Murray was getting more than 50% of the vote and Smiley more than 30% in the field of 18 candidates.
Murray was first elected to the chamber in 1992. Her nearly 30 years in the Senate place her behind only Democratic Sens. Warren Magnuson and Henry "Scoop" Jackson for longest service in the Senate from the Evergreen State. The powerhouse duo served 36 years and 30 years, respectively, and were among the most powerful senators of the mid-20th century.
Murray is now a member of the Democratic leadership and has risen to chair of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Murray would be the favorite in the November election as Washington hasn’t elected a Republican to the US Senate since 1994. But she’s taking no chances in what could be a tough year for Democrats with rising inflation and economic turmoil.
Murray’s campaign has spent more than $1 million to run television ads since June blasting Smiley for supporting Roe v. Wade’s reversal.
Smiley said the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe leaves it to voters in individual states to decide if they wanted to allow abortions. Smiley said she doesn’t support a nationwide ban on abortion, despite what Murray has contended in her ads.