ICYMI: Seattle Times Calls Out Patty Murray’s “Debate-Limiting Strategy”

For Immediate Release

September 16, 2022


Seattle Times Calls Out Patty Murray’s “Debate-Limiting Strategy”

32 Days Later, 30-Year Incumbent Claims She “Absolutely Looks Forward” to Debates While Refusing to Confirm Any

Pasco, WA – It’s been 32 days since veterans advocate and U.S. Senate candidate Tiffany Smiley made her initial debate proposal. Now The Seattle Times is calling out the 30-year incumbent for her “debate-limiting strategy,” of which she has a long history of doing. See below:

The Seattle Times: “Sen. Patty Murray challenger Tiffany Smiley pushes for debate commitments”

By Jim Brunner

“Ever since the Aug. 2 primary, Tiffany Smiley, the Republican challenger to U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, has been pressing Murray to commit to a series of debates.

“Smiley has publicly accepted invitations … Murray insists she will debate Smiley, but has not yet committed to specific events.

“The five-term Democratic incumbent is negotiating with debate organizers … But as of Thursday afternoon, none has been finalized.

“In a statement Thursday, Smiley called Murray’s failure to commit to specific debates so far ‘undemocratic’ and showing ‘contempt’ for Washington voters.

“‘After thirty years in the Senate, Patty Murray has decided that her only path to victory is to slap the democratic process in the face, all after spending millions of dollars on television claiming to be a protector of democracy,’ said Smiley, a veterans advocate from Pasco who is making her first run for political office.

“Murray’s campaign manager, Helen Hare, said the senator “absolutely looks forward” to debating Smiley …

“Elisa Carlson, a spokesperson for Smiley, said the campaign has readily agreed to debate proposals, only to be kept in the dark as organizers continue to hash out details with the Murray campaign.

“‘Our campaign has not been kept in the loop at all,’ she said in an interview Thursday …

“Murray’s debate-limiting strategy — a not uncommon tactic for incumbents — has frustrated other challengers in the past.

“In 2004, Republican Rep. George Nethercutt of Spokane, who challenged Murray’s bid for a third term, took to publicly debating a pair of tennis shoes to highlight the senator’s refusal to agree to more than two debates …

“Nethercutt that year also tried to ambush Murray with an impromptu debate at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, after learning he was on the same flight with Murray back from Washington, D.C. …

“The plan was foiled when Murray slipped away via an unknown exit, leaving Nethercutt mourning the lost opportunity to reporters he’d invited. ‘It’s a big airport,’ a Murray spokesperson shrugged at the time.”

Read the full story here.

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