(Edited from AP, Olympia) Delivering dollars for Washington state is a point of pride for Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, whose efforts have helped her comfortably win re-election twice. Republicans insist that this November, it will be her downfall.

The GOP is looking to tap into voter angst over the $13 trillion national debt. Tea partiers and fiscal conservatives have pushed to oust lawmakers they say contribute to rampant federal spending that will bankrupt future generations. Murray, once labeled the “Queen of Pork” by the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense, is high on their list.

(Edited from AP, Olympia) Delivering dollars for Washington state is a point of pride for Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, whose efforts have helped her comfortably win re-election twice. Republicans insist that this November, it will be her downfall.

The GOP is looking to tap into voter angst over the $13 trillion national debt. Tea partiers and fiscal conservatives have pushed to oust lawmakers they say contribute to rampant federal spending that will bankrupt future generations. Murray, once labeled the “Queen of Pork” by the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense, is high on their list.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and chairwoman of its transportation subcommittee, Murray has steered millions of dollars to Washington state for military projects, roads, veterans facilities and other projects.

She is unapologetic about her work as she travels across the state highlighting federal projects she’s directed home in a time of a stubborn economic downturn and a state unemployment rate of 8.9 percent, below the national average.

“You can opt out of that, but that means every community in our state is going to be left behind,” said Murray, 59, who is fourth in the Democratic leadership.

This fierce election-year debate over federal spending is playing out in scores of congressional and gubernatorial races throughout the country, from Kansas to Florida. It’s certain to be a factor in the high-stakes outcome that will decide control of Congress and the future of President Barack Obama’s agenda. Republicans need a gain of 10 seats to capture the Senate majority, a possibility if they can win seats in Democratic-leaning states like Washington and California.

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