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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 19, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 34
Dueling endorsements in 7th Congressional District race
Section One
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Dueling endorsements in 7th Congressional District race

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

State Sen. Pramila Jayapal and State Rep. Brady Walkinshaw both picked up key endorsements in their race to succeed retiring Rep. Jim McDermott in the 7th Congressional District.

Jayapal picked up the endorsement of Rep. Adam Smith on August 15.

'I've watched Pramila work for the last 15 years, delivering real results for the people of the Puget Sound region, both as an organizer and as an elected official,' Smith said in a statement.

'I've worked closely with her on a number of issues, from immigration reform to minimum wage, and am impressed with her ability to work towards real solutions while bringing strong coalitions together. Rarely do we have the opportunity to elect someone to the House who brings this level of vision, experience, leadership, and relationships to the table.'

Smith represents the 9th Congressional District, which borders the 7th. As the executive director of OneAmerica, a Seattle-based human rights organization, Jayapal worked with the state's congressional delegation on a number of legislative issues.

On August 12, Jayapal also got the endorsement of state Senate Democratic leader Sharon Nelson. Nelson had been backing King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, who failed to make it through the primary.

Joe McDermott - no relation to the congressman he was seeking to replace - endorsed his other primary opponent, Walkinshaw, on August 11.

'Brady is the leader we need in Congress,' Joe McDermott said in a press release.

'Brady is a bridge-builder who reaches across the aisle to solve real problems, and the communities of the 7th District need a partner in Congress who will focus on getting things done. That's why he's earned the support of dozens of his colleagues and local community leaders, and I will be proud to partner with him as our next representative.'

Both Jayapal and Walkinshaw are Democrats, seeking to represent what is probably the most Democratic congressional district in the state. Jayapal ran away with the primary, getting more votes than her two leading rivals - Walkinshaw and Joe McDermott - combined.

Walkinshaw has gotten strong support from his colleagues in the state legislature, with endorsements from 30 current and six former lawmakers. Jayapal has won endorsements from a list of progressive activists and officeholders, from Sen. Bernie Sanders to King County Councilmember Larry Gossett, plus backing from the Washington State Labor Council.

The 7th Congressional District takes in most of Seattle north of Madison Street and west of I-5, plus Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace, Lake Forest Park, and Shoreline in the north, and Burien and Normandy Park in the south.

Jim McDermott is retiring after representing the district in Congress since 1989.

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