OLYMPIA, Wash. — Senator Patty Murray is leading in the US Senate primary race with 53% of the vote as ballots continue to be counted.
Murray's most notable contender, Republican Tiffany Smiley, trails Murray with 33% of the vote.
Murray did not attend a primary election watch party Tuesday night. Instead, she said she was in Washington D.C. where she was working on the Inflation Reduction Act.
"I go to work every day to be a voice and a vote to fight for the people in my state," Murray said prior to the first round of returns being released.
Smiley, who was in Issaquah Tuesday night, said homelessness, public safety, and inflation is resonating with voters.
'A year ago we were talking about inflation, a year ago we were talking about rising gas prices, a year ago we were talking about the fentanyl crisis, and it's just gotten worse," she said.
Murray is seeking her sixth term in the U.S. Senate in a race that has drawn more than a dozen challengers, most notably, Smiley, a veterans advocate and former nurse.
Murray holds a significant financial advantage at $11.6 million raised against Smiley's $4.2 million in contributions.
Patty Murray is Washington's first woman U.S. Senator. Murray first ran for a Washington State Senate seat in 1988 and served one term before running a successful U.S. Senate campaign in 1992, where she has served since. Murray said she wants to continue working for Washington families. In her candidate statement, Murray said she will always stand up to those who want to "roll back workers' rights" or ban abortions. She also said she wants to lower families' costs for healthcare and childcare.
Smiley, born in Pasco, co-founded and serves as president of Hope Unseen, a veterans advocacy organization. In Smiley's candidate statement, she said she is running to improve public safety and support law enforcement, among other priorities.
According to WA Poll results released earlier this month, among voters who said abortion was their top issue this election, 72% support Murray. Murray also leads with the voters who say climate change and guns are the most important issues.
However, voters who say inflation, border security and crime all said they prefer Smiley, with 54% of voters focused on inflation backing her.