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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Republican Chris Vance Avoids Social Issues In Bid To Unseat Patty Murray

Vance for Senate Campaign
Republican political commentator and former GOP chair Chris Vance has announced he will run against U.S. Senator Patty Murray in 2016.

Longtime Washington U.S. Senator Patty Murray has drawn a Republican challenger. Former GOP Chair Chris Vance formally announced his 2016 run Tuesday.

Vance launched his campaign with a video announcement and a promise to be a different kind of candidate.

“No cheesy, Hollywood style attack ads,” he said in the video. “No empty meaningless clichés. I’m going to look you in the eye and we’re going to talk about what’s broken in America ….”

Vance said he’s not running to change laws on abortion, same-sex marriage or marijuana. Instead, he said his top priority is debt-reduction in the spirit of President Obama’s bipartisan commission on fiscal reform.

“It is still the in my view the blueprint of what we need to do: we need to cap discretionary spending, we need pro-growth tax reform and we need to make changes in Social Security and Medicare in order to save Social Security and Medicare,” Vance said.

Vance is a former state legislator and King County councilmember. He’s also a prominent political commentator.

In a statement, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee labeled Vance a “partisan extremist.”

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."