Sen. Patty Murray to seek fifth term in 2016

SEATTLE — U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, 63, plans to seek a fifth six-year term in 2016.

Though it’s more than two years before the election, Murray says she’s often asked about her plans and has no doubt about continuing her career, even if Democrats were to lose their majority in the U.S. Senate.

“I’d really rather be in the middle of the debate fighting for the people of Washington state rather than yelling at my television,” Murray told The Seattle Times in a story Monday.

Murray was first elected in 1992 by campaigning as a “mom in tennis shoes.” She won her narrowest victory in 2010, beating Republican Dino Rossi with 52 percent of the vote.

Murray ranks fourth in leadership among Senate Democrats, serving as conference secretary and budget committee chairwoman. She is 15th in overall seniority in the Senate, according to Roll Call.

Her national profile was elevated by her recent two-year budget deal with Republican House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan.

Despite her power, Murray doesn’t call herself a Washington insider.

She generally avoids the capital’s social scene and Sunday talk shows, and goes home most weekends to Whidbey Island, the paper reported.

“I go there (Washington, D.C.) to work. I don’t go there to live,” she said.

Already one of the state’s longest-serving politicians, if Murray fills another term, she would equal the 30-year tenure of Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson who died in office in 1983. Sen. Warren G. Magnuson served longer — from 1944 until losing his bid for a seventh term in 1980.

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