SEATTLE — Patty Murray defeated GOP challenger Tiffany Smiley in her bid to retain her seat in the U.S. Senate.
Murray led Smiley with 57% of the vote following an initial ballot count on Nov. 8.
Murray, a Democrat, will serve for a sixth term in the U.S. Senate.
Washington state hasn’t elected a Republican to the Senate since 1994.
Smiley announced Wednesday that she reached out to Murray to congratulate her on her win. She thanked her family and her team for their support over the past 18 months and said she would continue to be an advocate for Washington residents.
Senators are elected to six-year terms and represent the entire state. The Senate takes action on bills, resolutions, amendments, and more.
Patty Murray is Washington's first woman U.S. Senator. She served one term as a Washington state Senator before running a successful U.S. Senate campaign in 1992, where she has served since.
Murray said she wants to continue working for Washington families. In her candidate statement, Murray said she will always stand up to those who want to "roll back workers' rights" or ban abortions. She also said she wants to lower families' costs for healthcare and childcare.
"We got our work to do. We need to protect reproductive rights. We need to protect this democracy. We need to take this night and go to work and keep on working for all of you, that’s my pledge to all of you," said Murray during her election night speech.
Smiley, born in Pasco, co-founded and serves as president of Hope Unseen, a veterans advocacy organization. In Smiley's candidate statement, she said she is running to improve public safety and support law enforcement, among other priorities. This is Smiley's first political campaign.
"As you all know in Washington state, it takes several days to know the close of our elections here. So, you know, we're confident that when every legal vote is counted, that we can turn the tide here in Washington state," Smiley said during a speech on election night.
In a recent debate, the differences in Murray and Smiley's platforms were made clear when the two answered questions about inflation, abortion and crime.
Smiley said, while she opposes a federal abortion ban, she is anti-abortion and encouraged people to ask Murray if she believes in "any legal limitations to abortion." Smiley said Murray's support of the Inflation Reduction act did nothing to combat inflation. Smiley also said she believes cities are being "destroyed" by crime and police are not receiving the support they need.
In the debate, Murray said she is pro-abortion and that every woman should make her own choice about her health and family. Murray said she has been working to lower costs for families amid rising inflation, including prescription drug costs. Murray also pointed to how funds from the American Rescue Plan are being used to help communities recruit and retain police officers.