In some races this November, the choice will be easy. Do you want to elect a hugely qualified former Senator and Secretary of State to lead the country or would you prefer to push the nation further into the mire of fascism? In others, because you live in Seattle, you will be choosing between two qualified progressives. One of your last chances to see the candidates to replace retiring 7th District Rep. Jim McDermott talk about their campaigns in person comes Thursday night at the downtown library:
This year the residents of the 7th Congressional District will vote to replace Rep Jim McDermott, who has held his seat since 1989. This will be a hotly contested race between Pramila Jayapal and Brady Walkinshaw, and one which will have a lasting impact on our region.
This debate is free and open to all. To submit a question for Jayapal and/or Walkinshaw click here.
Moderated by: C.R. Douglas (Q13 FOX News) and Essex Porter (KIRO 7 News)
Capitol Hill resident Brady Walkinshaw, currently a rep for the state’s 43rd District in Olympia, joined 37th District rep Pramila Jayapal on the November ballot following the August primary. Jayapal’s big showing in August — her 42% of the vote pretty much doubled Walkinshaw’s share — makes her the clear favorite. If Walkinshaw is going to catch up, he’ll need to build on the base he formed this summer in some of the district’s more affluent precincts, like those surrounding Volunteer Park and in Madison Valley.
Walkinshaw has cited a variety of issues he wants to tackle including undoing Citizens United, passing aggressive environmental protections and imposing stricter regulations on the financial sector. Jayapal has outlined her main issues as fighting to raise the minimum wage, expanding Social Security and Medicare, clean energy, and making college debt-free. Walkinshaw nailed down the endorsement of the 43rd District Democrats group in June but it resulted only in his barely making it into the fall.
If Walkinshaw, a 32-year-old gay Cuban-American who lives on Capitol Hill, is elected in November, he would be the first openly gay member of Congress from the state and the first Latino Democrat from Washington elected to a federal office. Jayapal, a first-term senator serving the state’s 37th District, has collected endorsements from many elected officials including 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, LGBTQ leaders, and representatives of other progressive organizations. Jayapal is vying to become the first Indian American woman elected to Congress.
UPDATE: We’ve received some pushback regarding “LGBTQ support” for the candidates. Here’s how the endorsements breakdown.
In July, Walkinshaw received a dual endorsement from the national Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and the Latino Victory Fund. He has also received endorsements from many LGBTQ leaders, including former opponent in the race King County Council member Joe McDermott, former City Council member Tom Rasmussen, and former congressman Barney Frank.
Jayapal’s LGBTQ backers include trans activist Danni Askini, Sarah Toce, publisher of Seattle Lesbian, and Gautam Raghavan who worked as President Obama’s LGBT liaison.
Both candidates have secured a long list of endorsements from elected officials. Walkinshaw has taken the majority of current Seattle City Council members, and a long list of state representatives. Jayapal has amassed endorsements from more members of Congress, including Sen. Bernie Sanders, who will be headlining a rally for Jayapal in Seattle on Saturday.
The race puts a rare opportunity on the line to represent Seattle in Congress where openings are often carefully managed to give party favorites an appointed head start on any competition. Longtime representative McDermott announced his retirement earlier this year leaving the District 7 unusually wide open.