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New ad from national Republicans targets Murray as GOP looks to expand the Senate map

Aug. 2, 2022 Updated Tue., Aug. 2, 2022 at 11:31 a.m.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) participate in a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, July 13, 2022, in Washington, DC. The Committee held a hearing on women’s reproductive rights and healthcare access in a post-roe world.  (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images North America/TNS)
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) participate in a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, July 13, 2022, in Washington, DC. The Committee held a hearing on women’s reproductive rights and healthcare access in a post-roe world. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images North America/TNS)
By Alex Roarty McClatchy Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — National Republicans are funding a new ad this week that ties Democratic Sen. Patty Murray to President Joe Biden, arguing the incumbent lawmaker too often supports policies that increase inflation and crime.

The TV ad, which is slated to begin running Wednesday, is another sign that GOP leaders think Washington’s Senate race could be competitive this year — even if non-partisan analysts still consider Murray a relatively strong favorite to win reelection.

Murray is likely to face Republican Tiffany Smiley in the general election, which will begin after Tuesday’s primary election. Smiley is seeking to become the first Republican to win a U.S. Senate race in the state in more than 25 years.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Senate GOP’s political arm, is spending $765,000 on the 30-second spot to run for one week, according to an official with the group. It is the committee’s first ad of the race.

The ad mentions a grab-bag of different subjects, including gas and grocery prices, the baby formula shortage, and rising crime, to accuse the senator of being too supportive of the president.

“Senator Murray just fades away and goes along,” a narrator says, as an image of the lawmaker slowly morphs into a picture of Biden.

Murray’s campaign had previously run an ad accusing Smiley of a close relationship with former President Donald Trump and Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, arguing she didn’t support abortion rights and believed the 2020 election was stolen.

Republicans need to gain only one Senate seat during this year’s midterm election to win control of the legislative body. Though they are running a political climate favorable to Republicans, analysts have questioned if a series of underwhelming candidates are sabotaging their chances.

The Cook Political Report, a non-partisan political handicapping website, rates the Washington Senate race as “solid Democrat.”

In a statement, NRSC Chair Rick Scott praised Smiley’s campaign.

“From the beginning of this cycle, the NRSC has been committed to expanding the map,” the senator from Florida said, “and we’re doing just that.”

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