Dino Rossi aims to unseat Patty Murray


Not that kind of Dino! Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Republican Dino Rossi, famous loser of not one, but two close gubernatorial elections in Washington State (one being among the closest in U.S. electoral history), has withdrawn his hat from the ring for governor. Instead of gunning for the top spot in Olympia, he instead is aiming to unseat incumbent Democrat Patty Murray.  Patty Murray is currently one of the two Senators from Washington State, along with Maria Cantwell, also a Democrat.  That said, the Washington State Senate election Dino Rossi is trying to win is months away, and the Washington State primaries are yet to conclude.

Dino Rossi has a strong background

Dino Rossi is not a stranger to government. Though he launched two unsuccessful campaigns for Governor of Washington State, he had a successful career in the Washington State Senate.  While serving in that capacity from 1997 to 2003, Rossi was known for being able to cooperate with Democrats.  He was able to reduce a nearly $3 billion budget deficit in 2002 without raising taxes to generate a quick payday for the state. He was praised by former Governor Gary Locke, now the Secretary of Commerce, for exactly these attributes.

Two tight losses

Dino ran twice against Christine Gregoire for Governor of Washington State after Gary Locke left office. Both were close races, and the first was one of the tightest races in any election in American history. That election, in 2004, appeared to be an initial victory for Rossi, but after a second recount, Gregoire held a lead of 133 votes. Rossi conceded, and in a second race in 2008, lost by a larger margin.

Unseating Democrats becoming a trend

There seems to be a trend developing lately of Republicans looking to unseat Democrats in the United States House and Senate. He will have a chore on his hands, as Patty Murray has served in the United States Senate for three terms.  That said, Dino Rossi still has to win the Washington State Republican Primary and he has several challengers. One of the other candidates is Clint Didier, former NFL player and Super Bowl champion, who has the uber-coveted Sarah Palin endorsement. Though perennially typecast as a Blue State, most of Washington State by territory actually votes Republican.

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