Thursday, August 5

Murray Campaign Kickoff

And now a word from Scott Hechinger, a press assistant working with the Patty Murray campaign. She held her kickoff breakfast Thursday, August 5th, and Hechinger sent over this account of the event:

I was there this morning, bright and early, along with over 1100 other supporters as Senator Patty Murray officially kicked off her 2004 Senate reelection campaign at Quest Field. As the event started at 7 AM, I expected to see a weary and sluggish crowd trudge into the rally, but instead I saw people eager and ready to celebrate the Senator’s announcement that she would fight to regain her seat in the Senate.

There were entire families, firefighters, and veterans; teachers, the disabled, and grandparents; the old and young. A boy held a sign that read, “Thank you Patty for keeping my classroom size small.” Everybody was eager to see the Senator, hear her speak, and help get her campaign started on the right foot. And when we greeted the Senator with a thunderous, enthusiastic applause, it only emphasized what we all already knew: Washington state is behind Patty.

While we all ate breakfast and drank our OJ, the Senator reminded us why she has been such a strong voice and advocate for our interests, for our state. She told us that she has always put Washington first, no matter what, every chance she gets and she will continue to do so. “Some people criticize me for telling the White House ‘no’ when they push policies that would hurt our state,” she said. “But that’s what you elected me to do; to stand up for our values and to fight for our state.”

And it’s not only the White House that Patty Murray stands up to: “when it comes to helping our state,” she told the crowd, “I’ll take on anyone—the special interests, foreign governments, even my own party.”

She’s not kidding either.

She fought against the Clinton Administration when they went after Microsoft, a vital part of Washington’s economy and won for her state. When Chinese producers were unfairly dumping their apple products and hurting Washington’s farmers and their families, Patty fought back successfully to protect Washington’s apple producers. And as the first woman ever to serve on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, she fought against the Bush Administration’s efforts to close three VA hospitals and today, they are still in use and taking in patients every day.

Her talk focused primarily on the importance of taking care of our own here at home. “To be strong abroad,” she explained, “we also need to be strong at home.” From fighting for our environment, bolstering the safety of our ports, creating jobs while helping to stop the flow of our jobs overseas, and working to ensure that everyone has access to quality education, Senator Murray is already working her heart out to make sure our state’s goals become reality.

But it doesn’t stop there. Not by a long shot. This is all just a microscopic sneak peak of Patty’s effectiveness in the Senate over the last two-terms and her promise for the next six years. Yet each example is evidence of her resolve and confidence to do what’s right for the state and for her country.

Now the campaign is on the move and with much momentum, thanks to all of her dedicated supporters willing to sacrifice a bit of sleep to offer their support this morning. After she finished her speech, she flew to Vancouver and from there she’ll head off to Spokane, the Tri-Cities, and finally end up in Yakima on Friday afternoon. This morning’s kick-off was the first of several events going on all across the state in the next two days, announcing her intention to return to the Senate for a third term. Over the next month, she will be traveling all over Washington State talking to everyday people, hearing their concerns, what they have to say, and spreading her message of optimism for our future.

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