Liberal news site Talking Points Memo ran a piece on Dino Rossi last week where they noted the GOP hope that Rossi could repeat the Scott Brown story.

It looks like Rossi, expected to jump into the race as soon as this week according to GOP sources, will not play the role of the Tea Party candidate.

Both former NFL-player and farmer Clint Didier and State Sen. Don Benton announced today that they're staying in. Both, particularly Didier, will run to the right of Rossi and diminish his claim to represent the Tea Pary insurgency.

We've got calls out to both Didier and Benton's campaign.

Update: A third hopeful, Paul Akers says he's staying in as well.

This could be good for a Rossi candidacy. Given that Washington leans Blue, moderate Republicans have a better chance of winning statewide. If Rossi emerges from a pack of Tea Partiers, he can run as a standard issue Republican rather than a hard right one.