Benton is one of the 11 conservative candidates who's officially running against incumbent Democrat Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). Rossi's decision to run or not run is looming over the motley field.
According to Benton, Rossi isn't going to run:
Washington state Sen. Don Benton says he doesn’t expect Republican Dino Rossi to enter the race for U.S. Senate this year, citing his personal friendship with the two-time gubernatorial candidate.
Benton, who has already entered the race against Sen. Patty Murray on the Republican side, told POLITICO Monday: “Dino’s a good friend of mine. I’ve talked to him many times. I don’t believe Dino would allow me to sacrifice my family time and my business if he was going to run for U.S. Senate. “
“If he had serious plans, I really believe he would have told me that,” Benton said. “I just don’t see it.”
However, in the same article, Benton says this:
“I said, ‘Hey Dino, you know as long as you’re in limbo, it does make it a little more difficult for those of us out here doing this,’” Benton recalled. “He said, ‘I’m sorry for that, but I’m on nobody’s timetable but my own.’”
Cola reporter Chris Kissel wrote about the crew of Murray challengers last Monday.
And here's what Chris wrote about Benton and Rossi:
State Sen. Don Benton (R-17, Vancouver)—a prominent Republican leader in the state Senate, and former state Republican party chairman, notable for, among other things, proposing the complete elimination of state property taxes and introducing legislation that would put convicted drug users in jail for life—was not at the forum. Nor was Dino Rossi, about whom the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee is clearly nervous.