Meet the candidates: Incumbent Patty Murray and political newcomer Tiffany Smiley vying for Senate seat

There are 18 candidates vying for U.S. Senator in the Aug. 2 Primary Election and the Top 2 will move on to the General Election in November. It’s a race that has big political implications nationwide as Republicans believe five-time incumbent Democratic Senator Patty Murray may be vulnerable.

The most likely challenger to Murray will be political newcomer, Republican Tiffany Smiley of Pasco.

The Washington State Republican Party has already endorsed Smiley as its candidate to face Murray, who is likely to emerge as the top vote-getter in the Primary. It’s a rare move for the party to endorse a non-incumbent candidate before a Primary Election. It gave donors the green-light in identifying who the Republicans plan to support in November.

FOX 13’s Matt Markovich sat down with both candidates. 

Smiley tells the story of her motivation to run that involved her husband’s brush with death with a suicide car bomber in Iraq.

Murray comes into the race as the sixth-highest ranking senator in the Senate, third among Democratic senators. She has been a part of the Democratic party’s leadership for 20 years. 

She is being criticized for her close ties with President Joe Biden-- Biden’s approval ratings are at his lowest point in his presidency.

The Murray campaign gave FOX 13’s Matt Markovich only 15 minutes to defend some of her stances on the issues, while her challenger gave FOX 13 two hours.

The Senator talked about inflation, gas prices, crime, Ukraine War and long-term criticism that she’s a tax-and-spend Democrat.

Smiley made a name for herself in Washington, DC for her fight to improve treatment and long-term care by the Veteran’s Administration on behalf of her husband, who was left blind by a suicide bomber while on patrol in Iraq.

FOX 13’s Matt Markovich met with Smiley at her home in Pasco to discuss her stance on key issues including abortion, the Ukraine War, the January 6th attack on the Capitol and if her politics differ from President Donald Trump

Currently, Murray’s campaign has raised $14.5 million to Smiley’s $7 million, but both are expected to hold onto some of that cash for the November election, should both survive the August primary, which is expected.