Don Benton

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Don Benton (born April 8, 1957) is currently serving his fourth term in the Washington Senate, and has a notable record for fighting taxes and crime.[1] He is also a successful small business owner. Benton has been a state senator since 1996 and also served a term in the state House of Representatives.[2] In 1998, Benton unsuccessfully ran against Democratic U.S. Rep. Brian Baird of Vancouver for a seat in the U.S. House.

State Senator Don Benton, who formerly ran as a Republican for the US Senate seat held by Patty Murray, dropped out of the running and endorsed Dino Rossi.[3][4]


Don Benton first became interested in politics when his father, whom Benton considers to have been his mentor, served four terms on the local school board. His father's passion for politics carried over to Don, beginning with his service as student body president in college, to today's service in the state Senate. Don Benton was elected to the House of Representatives in 1994; Benton has been in the Senate starting in 1996 and was reelected in 2000, 2004 and 2008. His current term expires January 2013.[5]

Political Philosophy

Senator Don Benton has dedicated his legislative career to protecting property rights, reducing property taxes and putting criminals behind bars.[2] He called for a special session to save a voter-approved cap on property tax collections. Despite the Supreme Court's decision to invalidate I-747 on a technicality, the Legislature put the cap into law during a one-day special session in November 2007.

Benton has led the fight to save the Taxpayer Protection Act in the Washington state Senate. Initiative 960, which requires all new taxes to be approved with a two-thirds majority vote and was approved by voters in 2007, is being suspended by majority Democrats. Don Benton commented on the suspension of I-960 by majority Democrats, and how Democrats have run rampant in the state of Washington for too long and have refused to answer to the people.

This is just plain wrong. We’re ignoring the will of the people. I believe government should answer to the people, not the other way around.[3]

Benton believes in "common-sense conservatism" and criticized Patty Murray as "moving in lock-step" with President Obama on an agenda to nationalize banks, medicine and the auto industry.[2] Inspired in part by Republican Sen. Scott Brown's upset victory in Massachusetts, Don Benton retained the same consulting team behind Brown's candidacy.

Tea Party Movement

Don Benton is a critic of big government and an opponent of tax increases. He is in alignment with members of the Tea Party movement and their call for smaller government and lower taxes. Benton has never voted to increase taxes in his 16-year tenure in the Legislature.


  1. About Don,
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Katherine Long. Don Benton, veteran state senator, seeks to take on Patty Murray in November, The Seattle Times, February 7, 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Senator Don Benton officially files candidacy for US Senate with FEC,, February 15, 2010.
  4. Jim Camden. Benton drops out of Senate race, backs Rossi, June 4, 2010.
  5. Senator Don Benton to run for US Senate, February 6, 2010.

External links

See also