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Murray and Smiley to Face-Off in October Debate

(The Center Square) – U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Bothell, will meet her Republican challenger, Tiffany Smiley, in a debate on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 5:00 p.m. at the Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center at Gonzaga University in Spokane.


The debate is in partnership with The Spokesman-Review newspaper and League of Women Voters.

Murray announced she will be participating in the debate, according to a media release from her campaign.

“I look forward to debating Tiffany Smiley this October in Spokane,” Murray said in a statement. “This will be one of the most consequential elections of our lifetimes. I want voters in Washington state to understand there is a clear choice at the ballot box this fall. So much is on the line: a woman’s right to choose, the future of our democracy, and whether we build an economy that works for everyone – not just those at the very top.”

Earlier this month, the Smiley campaign told The Center Square Murray had not accepted any debate dates.

“To date, Senator Murray has only accepted an invitation to one debate (Oct 23rd in Spokane), and has yet to confirm her participation in the second, Oct 25th event in Seattle,” Elisa Carlson, communications director for the Smiley Campaign, said via email on Friday.

The Center Square inquired about any sticking points between the two campaigns regarding setting up debates.  

“As to the hold up, it is clear that Senator Murray wants to have zero debates before voting begins in Washington state,” Carlson said.

Washington is a vote-by-mail state.

According to the Washington Secretary of State’s Office, ballots will be mailed to voters on Friday, Oct. 21, two days before the debate takes place.

“Given the millions of dollars the senator has spent accusing Tiffany of being a threat to democracy, this refusal to debate is undemocratic, a slap in the face to the electoral process, and an insult to voters,” Carlson concluded. “Senator Murray wants voting first and debates later.”

According to the Murray campaign’s media release, there are continuing discussions to finalize an additional debate in Western Washington.

“Since mid-August, the People for Patty Murray Campaign has been in ongoing discussions regarding debates with stakeholders on the western side of the state,” the release stated. “The campaign hopes that details will be finalized and an additional debate will be announced as quickly as possible.”

The general election is Nov. 8. 


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