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Don Benton backs out of Senate race, joins Dino Rossi campaign as advisor

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on June 3, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
June 3, 2010 5:45 pm

Another of the Republicans challenging Patty Murray has bowed out, endorsing Dino Rossi.

Until last week, long-serving state Sen. Don Benton of Vancouver might have been the most well-known of the GOP’s large field of Senate candidates, many of them new to politics. But then Rossi entered the race, with his well-known name and ability to raise money quickly.

Benton announced today in a Web video he would drop out and back Rossi, saying beating Murray is too important to waste resources on GOP infighting. “If we’re going to beat her, we have to consolidate resources,” he said.

Benton said in an interview he accepted an invitation from Rossi to join his campaign as an unpaid “senior advisor.”

So no hard feelings about the months Rossi took to decide whether he was running, which Benton had complained about? Well…

“Time is the only thing you can’t get back in a campaign,” Benton acknowledged, “but Dino is, has been and will continue to be a longtime friend and colleague.”

Benton’s campaign drew attention for its ad that made an eye-opening – and very questionable – claim about Murray. “We actually forced the incumbent to respond to us on her vote to give Viagra to sex offenders. No other candidate has been able to achieve that,” he said in his announcement.

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