[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/29/art.demint.gi.file.jpg caption =" On Wednesday, South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint announced his endorsement for Washington Senate candidate."]
Washington (CNN) - Republican Sen. Jim DeMint announced his endorsement of Washington Senate candidate Dino Rossi on Thursday.
The move is the latest in a series of endorsements made by the South Carolina senator, many of which have pitted him against either the GOP establishment or former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
"Dino Rossi is a principled conservative who will help us take our country back. He will fight to stop the massive spending, bailouts, and debt that are bankrupting our country," DeMint said in a statement. "Dino understands the stimulus bill was a failure, he will fight to repeal the health care takeover, and he will help us pass a constitutional amendment to balance the budget.
Rossi and two other Republicans, Clint Didier and Paul Akers are in the battle to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Patty Murray.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/27/art.rossi.cnn.jpg caption="A new poll indicates that Republican Dino Rossi is the GOP frontrunner in the Washington Senate race."]
(CNN) - Dino Rossi holds a large lead over two other Republican candidates in the battle to challenge Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, according to a new survey.
An Elway Poll of registered voters in Washington state indicates that 43 percent back Murray, who's bidding for a fourth term in the Senate, in the state's August 17 primary.
Thirty-one percent support Rossi, with fellow Republicans Clint Didier at five percent and Paul Akers at two percent. Seventeen-percent were undecided. Washington is the only state in the nation to hold a non-partisan primary, with the top two vote-getters advancing to the general election. Earlier this month California voters passed a referendum that would move the Golden state towards a similar system.
Rossi, who announced his candidacy last month, is arguably the best known Republican in Washington state, thanks to his two bids for governor. In an election that went into overtime, Rossi lost to Democrat Christine Gregoire by just a handful of votes six years ago. He was again defeated in a 2008 rematch by a wider margin.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/26/art.rossi.cnn.jpg caption="Dino Rossi jumped into the Washington state Senate Race Wednesday after months of urging from the GOP."](CNN) - Two-time Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi officially jumped into the Senate race in Washington state Wednesday, following months of cajoling from national Republicans who view the area businessman as the strongest candidate to defeat incumbent Democrat Sen. Patty Murray.
"Over the past several months, as I watched Congress pile more and more debt on top of our children and grandchildren, as I watched them ram through a partisan, ill-conceived health care bill, as I watched them pass new job-killing taxes and regulations, I knew I had to do something about it," Rossi says in a web video. "That's why I've made the decision to run for the United States Senate."
Rossi, currently a commercial real estate investor, is arguably the best known Republican in Washington state, thanks to his two bids for governor. In an election that went into overtime, Rossi lost to Democrat Christine Gregoire by just a handful of votes six years ago. He was again defeated in a 2008 rematch by a wider margin.
Polls of Washington state voters conducted this year suggest that Rossi could be competitive with the three-term Murray - the so-called Senate "soccer mom" whose approval rating is hovering around 50 percent back home. But Murray is sitting on a formidable $6 million campaign war chest, according to disclosures filed with the Federal Elections Commission at the end of March, and handily won her reelection bids in 1998 and 2004.
Rossi, a former state senator, appears to be kicking of his campaign in the Democratic-leaning state with a message of inclusion, touting his record of working to balance the budget with both Republicans and Democrats.
[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/24/art.dinorossi.0524.facebook.jpg caption ="Dino Rossi will run for the Senate in Washington state, according to a GOP source."](CNN) - Two-time GOP gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi will run for the Senate in Washington state, two republican sources confirm to CNN.
Rossi's announcement could come as early as Wednesday, according to the sources, one of whom also adds that the candidate is in the process of hiring campaign staff.
Rossi, a businessman and commercial real estate investor, is arguably the best known Republican in Washington state, thanks to his two two bids for governor. In 2004, in an election that went into overtime, Rossi lost to Democrat Christine Gregoire by just a handful of votes. Rossi was defeated in a 2008 rematch by a wider margin.
Polls of Washington state voters conducted this year suggest that Rossi could be competitive with three term Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, who's up for re-election this November.