About Patty

As one of the few members of Congress who has been able to break through the partisanship and gridlock to create jobs and boost the economy, Patty never gives up on her core principles and values – but she always looks for ways to build partnerships with anyone, from any party, who is willing to work with her to get results for Washington state families and communities.

As Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Patty worked to finally halt the years of budget crises and restore investments in education, health care, research, and jobs.

And now, as the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee – she worked with Democrats and Republicans to finally fix the broken No Child Left Behind law. And she is fighting every day to invest in our students and schools, make health care more affordable and accessible, and enact policies that create jobs and grow the economy from the middle out, not the top down.

Patty is currently the fourth-ranking Democrat in the United States Senate and a senior member of the Veterans Affairs and Appropriations Committee – but she has never forgotten where she comes from or who she represents. She comes home almost every weekend, travels across Washington state listening to her constituents, and then goes back to Washington, D.C., to tell their stories, work to solve their problems, and fight for their priorities.

Patty was raised in Bothell, Washington. Her dad ran a five and dime store on Main Street, where she and her siblings all worked growing up. She learned at a young age the importance of having a country that is there for families when times got tough. When she was 15, her father – a World War II veteran and a Purple Heart recipient – was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and in a few short years, his illness got so bad he couldn't work anymore. Her family received some help from the VA for their father's medical care, but for several months they had to rely on food stamps. However, Patty's mother was able to get federal job training support in order to find a better paying job. And thanks to federal grants and student loans, Patty and her siblings were all able to attend college.

While attending Washington State University, Patty took an internship in the psychiatric ward of the Seattle VA and personally witnessed the sacrifices of young Vietnam War veterans. This experience, along with her fathers’, is what drives her commitment and passion for making sure that our government keeps its promises to the veterans who have sacrificed so much for all of us.

Never planning to enter politics, in the 1980s a state politician told her she "couldn't make a difference" when she went to Olympia as a parent to advocate for a local preschool program targeted by state budget cuts. Patty responded by organizing a grassroots coalition of 13,000 parents that fought successfully to save the program. Patty went on to serve on the Shoreline School Board, and in 1988 was elected to the Washington State Senate. In 1992 she ran for the United States Senate as a voice for Washington families who were not being heard.

Dramatically outspent, Patty ran a grassroots campaign of family, friends, supporters, and public interest groups to beat a 10-year veteran of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Patty met her husband of over 40 years, Rob Murray, while attending Washington State University. They have two grown children, Sara and Randy, and three grandchildren. Patty enjoys fishing, exploring Washington state's great outdoors, and spending time with her family.