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20 October 2010

Washington – Senate

Patty Murray (D) v Dino Rossi (R)

By Rob Higson

Senator Patty Murray, a Democratic three-term incumbent, is up against the Republican Dino Rossi, a former Washington state senator and successful commercial real-estate executive.

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.

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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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