Sammamish resident Dino Rossi ends speculation, enters U.S. Senate race
May 26, 2010
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 7:25 a.m. May 26, 2010
Dino Rossi — the former Issaquah representative in the state Senate and the Republican nominee for governor in 2004 and 2008 — has entered the race to unseat U.S. Sen. Patty Murray.
In a short video posted on his campaign website early Wednesday morning, the Sammamish resident joined a crowded field seeking the GOP nomination — and ended months of speculation about whether he might enter the race.
The eventual nominee will face Murray, a three-term Democrat, in November. Before Rossi can take on Murray, however, he must contend with Republican challengers. Other candidates pledged to remain in the race, despite the advantage Rossi enjoys in support and statewide name recognition.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin endorsed another candidate, Clint Didier, a Pasco farmer and former NFL player, on Facebook and Twitter last week. The field also includes Rossi’s former state Senate colleague, Vancouver Republican Don Benton.
Voters will winnow the entire field, regardless of party affiliation, to two candidates in the Aug. 17 primary election. The top candidates advance to the November general election.
Rossi represented Issaquah, Sammamish and other 5th Legislative District communities in the state Senate from 1997 until late 2003. He resigned to campaign full-time for the Governor’s Mansion. King County Council members appointed then-state Rep. Cheryl Pflug to the seat.
In 2004, Rossi lost the closest gubernatorial election in U.S. history to Chris Gregoire. Only 133 votes separated the candidates.
Rossi then fell short in 2008 rematch against Gregoire. The former state senator launched both gubernatorial campaigns from Village Theatre in downtown Issaquah.