One thing’s for sure: They’ll have a packed house at the GOP candidates’ debate at Peninsula High School next Wednesday. And that’s just if all the candidates for U.S. Senate show up.
So far, at least 10 Republicans who hope to unseat Democrat Sen. Patty Murray are expected at the event, along with local legislative candidates. The name politics-watchers are most wondering about – Dino Rossi – has been invited but has not yet confirmed. We’ll let you know if that changes.
Here is the press release
Ten US Senate Candidates to Appear in Gig Harbor Vying for the Opportunity to replace Patty Murray
As many as ten Republican U.S. Senate candidates will debate on Wednesday, April 21 at 6:00 pm at Peninsula High School.
Kirby Wilbur, Washington State Director of Americans for Prosperity, will moderate the event, hosted by the Gig Harbor Republican Women and the South Kitsap Republican Women. The public is welcome to attend.
The challengers are vying for the chance to face U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, a three-term incumbent who has become an important decision-maker in federal spending policy.
No doubt a topic of debate will be Murray’s role on the Senate’s Appropriations Committee, which oversaw a $1.41 trillion federal budget deficit in fiscal year 2009, easily surpassing any previous record in deficit spending. Taxes are a likely topic, since President Obama has proposed nearly $3 trillion in tax increases over the next ten years.
Dino Rossi, who has done well in recently-published polls against the incumbent, has criticized Murray’s budget earmarks. Rossi has been invted to the debate, but has not yet indicated whether he will appear. At press time, he had not formally entered the race.
Another topic may be President Obama’s controversial new policy on the use of nuclear weapons. Murray is a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
Forum participants will be as follows:
Paul Akers, founder and president of FastCap LLC, an international product development company based in Bellingham;
Don Benton, a small businessman currently serving his fourth term in the Washington State Senate;
Art Coday, M.D, a UW alumnus whose practice centers on Medicare and Medicaid patients;
Clint Didier, a former tight end for the Washington Redskins and the Green Bay Packers; He attended Portland State University exiting with a degree in Political Science, Administration of Justice/Corrections;
Skip Mercer, professor in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences, and a principal physicist at the Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington;
Rod Rieger, a businessman and former U.S. Marine;
Sean Salazar, D.C., a chiropractor and former officer in the U.S. Navy;
Ed Torres, General Superintendent for Tacoma Plumbing;
Chris Widener, a businessman and author of the best-selling Twelve Pillars;
Craig Williams, an energy-trader and real estate professional.
Also invited are US House of Represenatives candidates Doug Cloud and Jesse L. Young, both running against U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair; 26th Legislative District state Rep. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, 26th LD Position 2 candidate Doug Richards (running against state Rep. Larry Seaquist LD, D-Gig Harbor), Marty McClendon, 26th state Senate candidate (running against state Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor) and Washington State Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders, who is running for re-election against Bainbridge Island attorney Charlie Wiggins.