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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Mercer staying in U.S. Senate race

Skip Mercer confirmed this afternoon that he'll stay in the U.S. Senate race, but will file as an independent rather than a Republican.

Mercer was out of the country on a research trip last week when Republican Dino Rossi announced that yes, he was indeed running for the Senate. In a list of other announced candidates in Spin Control, Mercer's wife Lisa said the Seattle physicist and University of Washington professor was likely to stay in, but not as a Republican.

Skip Mercer said he had initially planned to run as an independent anyway. But his treasurer had written in Republican when filing some forms. "Philosophically, I'm basically a conservative."

Given the state's Top Two primary which advances the first and second vote getters regardles of party, Mercer thinks that everyone basically runs as an independent, anyway. But he's cautious about his chances.

"I think anybody running against Patty Murray or Dino Rossi is a long-shot," he said. But in travelling around the state pre-Rossi, Mercer said he and some other candidates found significant support for someone running who wasn't an established politician or a lawyer.

The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.