Rossi has been keen to criticise Murray’s support for the economic stimulus, telling one rally recently: “You’re witnessing the fundamental redefinition of America – and we can’t let that stand.”
Portraying himself as a moderate Republican, Rossi has been backed by big donors, including a billionaire New York hedge-fund manager, and is well known across the state.
In a recent televised debate, Rossi and Murray disagreed over the economy, gays in the military, taxes and policy on Afghanistan.
The youngest of seven children, Rossi grew up poor and, after working his way through Seattle University as a janitor, got into real estate, acquiring his first apartment in his mid-twenties.
The polls are currently neck and neck, with the campaign becoming increasingly negative on both sides in a seat that the Democrats must win to stay in the national race. President Obama is making his second visit to Seattle this month to campaign for Murray.
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