Sen. Patty Murray’s opponent calls to congratulate her

Nov 8, 2016, 8:08 PM | Updated: Nov 9, 2016, 7:19 am

Vance, election...

Patty Murray took a commanding early lead over her opponent Chris Vance. (AP)


Update: US Senate candidate Chris Vance issued the following statement on Facebook late Tuesday night conceding victory to incumbent Patty Murray.

Congratulations to Senator Murray on her reelection victory. Our disagreements are many, but they were never personal. Patty Murray is a good, honest, hardworking public servant, and I wish her nothing but the best during her next term in the Senate.

Tonight I want to thank my outstanding and dedicated campaign team, the thousands of Republican volunteers who worked so hard for all Republican candidates this year, and the thousands of average of Washingtonians who donated to our campaign. I am very proud of what we were able to accomplish in the face of very difficult circumstances.

Politically, our campaign was based on the belief that after eight years of Barack Obama, voters would be ready for change and this would be a Republican wave election in which we could seriously challenge a 24-year Democratic incumbent. Unfortunately, although Republicans are doing well across the country, the results in King County are once again, extremely disappointing. To win in Washington State, Republicans must refocus their efforts on appealing to suburban Puget Sound voters.

I have been active in politics and public policy in our state for over 30 years. I’m sure that will continue in some capacity. Obviously, the results of this election are going to spur a major debate over the future of the Republican Party in our state. I look forward to being part of that. Washington State, needs a healthy two-party system.

Once again, thank you to everyone who worked so hard on our campaign these past 14 months. I will be forever grateful.”

Original story: Washington Sen. Patty Murray took an early lead after initial election results were released Tuesday night.

Murray is leading by 61 percent in early results.

“Here in Washington state, voters voted for progress and I love you for that,” Murray told a crowd of supporters after results were announced.

Murray said that her opponent, Chris Vance, who is trailing with 39 percent of the vote, called her Tuesday night to congratulate her on her win.

“The results are pretty clear,” Murray said. “Thank you for re-electing me to be your voice as your United States senator.”

Murray, a Democrat first elected in 1992, said if voters return her to the Senate one of her priorities will be higher education and addressing high tuition costs and onerous student loans.

Murray touted her bipartisan work with GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan on solving a 2013 budget impasse and spoke of her efforts to raise the minimum wage and working to invest in education and transportation.

Vance, a former state GOP chairman and King County councilman, blamed Murray for congressional gridlock and for not addressing deficit spending. Early in the campaign Vance dismissed his party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, saying the New York businessman was too divisive.

But Murray says that, like most people, she gets frustrated with the “dysfunction and gridlock.” To make her point, she highlighted her past work with Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan to end a budget stalemate

During their campaigns, Vance called out Murray’s federal wage proposal as being too lofty of a goal. Murray wrote legislation that, if passed, would establish a minimum federal wage at $12 by 2020.

“Raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour all across America, according to research done by the Congressional Budget Office as Senator Murray supports, will destroy 700,000 jobs,” Vance said. “When you make it more expensive to hire people, fewer people get hired.”

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