From Allies to Opponents: Patty Murray Defeats Tiffany Smiley in U.S. Senate Race

Photo by Alejandro Barba from Unsplash.

Incumbent Patty Murray (D) and challenger Tiffany Smiley (R) faced off during the Washington 2022 U.S. Senate election. After weeks of campaigning and raising funds, Murray has been proclaimed the winner of the election, taking home 57% of the votes.

According to The Washington Post, Murray has been in office for almost 30 years, while Smiley is a newcomer to the political stage.

As reported by The Seattle Times, Smiley, 41, never intended to enter politics. She was a nurse before her husband, Scotty Smiley, was blinded during a bombing in Iraq. She transitioned to be his caregiver. She sought justice for what happened to her husband and advocated on his behalf, becoming a public speaker and consultant. The couple founded two businesses that share their story with people across the country.

Murray, 72, taught preschoolers before she decided to enter politics when politicians tried to get rid of a preschool program her children depended on. Since then, she has become one of the longest-serving senators in U.S. history, with her sixth term in the U.S. Senate now beginning.

Not long ago, Murray and Smiley worked together to advocate for the approval of legislation to give financial support to caregivers of injured veterans.

In 2018, Murray described Smiley as “an amazing advocate for the caregiver program.”  

In a now-deleted Facebook post, Smiley wrote, “I had a wonderful meeting with Senator Patty Murray. Her efforts to support caregivers are truly remarkable!”

The New York Times documents that Murray has raised the concern that the “complacency” of many Democratic voters caused the senate race to be tighter than usual in a solidly blue state.

Both candidates have fought hard for the U.S. Senate seat, with Murray spending over $20 million and Smiley over $14 million on the race.