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Murray, Smiley address the top issues for Washington voters

A KING 5 Poll found abortion and inflation are the top issues for voters. The candidates addressed both during a town hall.

SEATTLE — Editor's note: The video above is from an Oct. 24 debate.

Leading up to the general election, Senator Patty Murray and challenger Tiffany Smiley have clashed on issues including the economy, abortion, and education.

The two met during a town hall on Sunday, which is likely the last time the candidates will be on stage together before Nov. 8.

Murray has been in the Senate since 1992. Smiley is looking to unseat the longtime senator. 

A KING 5 poll found abortion and inflation are the top issues for voters. The candidates addressed both during the town hall.

"We need to reign in this out-of-control spending," Smiley said. "The Inflation Reduction Act does nothing to control inflation."

Murray defended the law. 

"It will specifically lower costs for people's prescription drugs and make sure that they can afford health care," Murray said. 

For now, Murray said she supports President Joe Biden's decision to use the national reserve when it comes to lowering gas prices. 

"That is not a good solution for the long run," Murray said. "We have to make sure that we are moving to a new clean energy economy."

Smiley said she'd like to see the reserve left alone. 

"It doesn't have to be done," Smiley said. "We need to unleash American energy independence and lower gas prices right now."

Murray has campaigned on plans to legalize abortion following the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. 

"Now it is imperative that we take action at the national level to restore the protections of Roe," Murray said. 

Smiley, who is pro-life, would want to leave abortion rights to the states. 

"I'm against a federal abortion ban," Smiley said. "I believe it belongs closest to the people voting on it and here in Washington State, I respect the will of those voters."

Smiley said if elected she would serve no more than two terms and argued Murray has served for too long. 

"Senator Murray is not the mom in tennis shoes anymore," Smiley said. "We cannot afford another six years going forward."

However, Murray argued that her opponent isn't cut out for the job. 

"She's really good at describing a problem," Murray said. "Anybody can describe a problem. A legislator is someone who can take those issues, go to work in D.C. and pass legislation that I have passed."


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