VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON—In her second speech at the Washington state Democratic convention, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray went after Republican challenger Dino Rossi saying that "unlike some others in this race" she never wondered if running was the right decision.
The Tacoma News Tribune reports that Murray never mentioned Rossi by name, but the references were clear.
"Unlike some others in this race, I have never hemmed or hawed or hedged my bets and wondered whether this was the right thing to do for me and my family," Murray said Saturday.
National Republicans courted Rossi aggressively after polls earlier this year showed he would be competitive. But Rossi hesitated for months, and many wondered if the former real estate agent was willing to tackle another campaign after two failed bids for governor.
Murray, who also spoke at the convention Friday night, defended earmarks in her Saturday speech, saying that without them, the spending responsibility goes to a bureaucrat in Washington, D.C.
Rossi and Eastern Washington rancher Clint Didier are vying for the Republican spot.
The convention endorsed Suzan DelBene, who is challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert in the 8th Congressional District.
To no one's surprise, delegates also nominated Olympia entrepreneur Denny Heck in the open 3rd Congressional District race. Heck, a former state legislator, is running to replace Democratic U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, who is not seeking re-election.
Baird warned delegates of a possible Republican wave this fall, comparing that possibility to the 1994 elections, when the GOP won control of Congress midway through President Bill Clinton's first term. Six of the state's then eight congressional seats shifted from Democrats to Republicans in the election.
"The last time it happened we had a young, charismatic president," he said. "We took tough votes. We created 22 million new jobs."
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine invited Republicans to pin their 2010 congressional campaigns on repeal of the health reform bill.
"Let that be the battle," the former Virginia governor told delegates. "Bring out the bumper stickers that say, 'Bring back pre-existing conditions."'
Delegates also backed Initiative 1068 on a 314-185 vote. The measure would legalize the sale and use of marijuana. Supporters of the initiative are strapped for cash, but are mounting a last minute push to get the initiative on the ballot.
On a voice vote, delegates did not back Initiatives 1105 and 1100, which seek to privatize the state-run liquor sales.