Patty Murray

In 1992, Senator Patty Murray’s first campaign cost $1.2 million. In 2016, her campaign could cost more than $20 million.

Who is the opponent with pockets deep enough to make Murray spend that much? The Koch brothers.

“David and Charles Kochs’ names won’t actually be on the ballot in Washington state, but their fingerprints are going to be all over this election,” Murray wrote in a letter to supporters about the $900 million the Koch brothers plan to spend on the 2016 elections.

“Some of that money is going to be heading to Washington state, targeting you and me in an attempt to put an end to our work of building the economy from the middle out, not the top down.”

This won’t be Murray’s first tough race. In her past four elections, she defeated three Republican congressmen and a two-time gubernatorial nominee.

Progressive Credentials:

Murray’s current focus on worker protections include:

  • Calling for an increase in the minimum wage to give millions of workers a raise;
  • Introducing the Healthy Families Act to give workers in businesses with 15 or more employees the chance to earn up to seven days a year of paid sick leave, and seven days of unpaid leave for workers in businesses with fewer than 15 employees;
  • Working with Senator Sherrod Brown to advocate that the NLRB speed up the union election process; and,
  • Joining with Senator Bernie Sanders to lead a group of 26 senators working to strengthen overtime protections for American workers.

Murray’s legislative priorities also include cutting taxes for the middle class.

“While Republicans continue to call for more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations, I’m proud to introduce middle-class tax cuts that will reward families for their hard work, deliver them some much-needed help to pay their bills, and help the economy grow from the middle out, not the top down,” said Murray.

Murray’s 21st Century Worker Tax Cut Act creates a new tax credit worth up to $1,000 for families with two working parents, aimed at helping with child-care and transportation costs. Murray projects the changes would benefit more than 7 million two-earner families.

Also aimed at helping families keep up with the rising costs of child care, the Helping Working Families Afford Child Care Act would reform the child and dependent care tax credit by raising its limits and making it refundable, so low-income families could benefit as well. The typical credit increase would go from $600 to $2,800 for most low- and middle-income families.

(Photo: Facebook/Patty Murray)
The “Year of the Woman,” 1992 (Photo: Facebook/Patty Murray)

Why We Like Her:

A schoolteacher and state legislator from Washington, Murray says she was first moved to run for office by what she saw as blatant sexism in the Anita Hill hearings.

Dismissed by her Republican opponent as “a mom in tennis shoes,” Murray joined Carol Moseley Braun, Barbara Mikulski, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein and Nancy Kassebaum in the U.S. Senate.

Candidate Quote:

In a 2013 interview with The Atlantic, Murray said, “Every single committee has a woman on it. Dianne Feinstein is chair of the Intelligence Committee. Debbie Stabenow is chair of the Agriculture Committee. People always say, ‘Women’s issues?’ Okay, women’s issues. Intelligence. Agriculture.”

Candidate Sites:

To learn more about Patty Murray, visit her website, and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.