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Originally published Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 8:02 PM

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Republican state senator enters US Senate race

A Republican state senator says he will enter the race for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democratic Sen. Patty Murray.

The Associated Press

VANCOUVER, Wash. —

A Republican state senator says he will enter the race for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democratic Sen. Patty Murray.

The Columbian reports state Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, announced his candidacy at a Clark County Republican party dinner Saturday. Benton joins six other Republican candidates vying to challenge Murray.

The GOP primary will be held in August.

Benton is serving his fourth term as the state senator from the 17th district, which includes Vancouver. In 1998, Benton unsuccessfully ran against Democratic Rep. Brian Baird for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Murray is serving her third term as a U.S. senator.

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Information from: The Columbian, http://www.columbian.com

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