It is questionable whether anyone should hold a single public office for 36 years, but, if anyone is going to hang on that long, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray is the kind of politician who can be trusted to use her seniority for productive work, not personal aggrandizement or self-promotion.
That trust was apparent Tuesday when Washington voters gave Murray another six years to add to the 30 she has already served in the United States Senate. In King County, where more than a quarter of state residents live, Murray took more than 74% of the vote. Statewide, the senator won by a modest landslide of 57%.
Other than Mason County, Murray was victorious in all the counties that touch on Puget Sound waterways, plus Clark County down on the outskirts of Portland. Her Republican challenger, Tiffany Smiley, prevailed in the rural areas of Southwest Washington and in every county east of the Cascade Mountains.
Like too many GOP candidates before her, Smiley made Seattle a bit of a punching bag that she whacked throughout the election while cozying up to Fox News hosts and haranguing Murray with hot button conservative talking points fed to her by Republican operatives. Hers was a largely generic national campaign that failed to face the hard reality of running for office in Washington as a Republican: You cannot win if you turn off people in the urban counties because that is where the votes are. Once Murray linked Smiley to Mitch McConnell and the anti-abortion crowd, she could start planning her victory party.
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