Candidates continue to line up for two elected positions that opened up in the wake of Rep. Jim McDermott’s retirement announcement. This November, Capitol Hill voters will have the chance to vote in a new state representative in the 43rd District and a new U.S. representative in the 7th Congressional District.
Longtime Seattle resident and perennial Democratic candidate Donovan Rivers recently announced he would once again make a run in the 7th. According to his bio, Rivers has worked for King County Metro for 32 years and served as an advisor to Washington state law enforcement agencies. The Detroit-native recently spoke about the need for better mental health care at a meeting of the 34th District Democrats.
“What we really need to look at across our nation is a way to get mental health treatment,” Rivers said in a video from the West Seattle Blog. “There is no reason why we should have all these folks on the street, living on the street.”
Rivers has previously made low profile runs for in the 7th and 9th Districts, and even tried to run for the “7th or 9th” in 2014 before federal officials sent him a letter notifying him he had to choose one. The 7th District covers the majority of Seattle and Capitol Hill, but leaves out a substantial section of the city south of E Madison.
Rivers has not yet officially filed for the race, but several others have. The 43rd District’s Rep. Brady Walkinshaw and the 37th District’s Sen. Pramila Jayapal are the most high profile candidates in the running so far. Walkinshaw was the first to enter the race in December and Jayapal announced her candidacy in January at Seattle Central College.
Republican Craig Keller will once again be on the ballot after losing handedly to McDermott in 2014. Keller’s top issue in the last election was stopping illegal immigration. Other candidates include Edmonds peace activist, artist, and playwright Jeff Stilwell and Seattle attorneys Andrew Ifits and Douglas McQuaid.
The 7th District position has never been held by a person of color, a woman, or an openly gay representative.
Candidates have also started to emerge for Walkinshaw’s seat open seat in the 43rd District. Homeless advocate and low income housing expert Nicole Macri was the first to publicly announce her candidacy earlier this month. Political consultant and LGBTQ advocate Thomas Pitchford and Seattle attorney Daniel Shih have also filed for the race. Sameer Ranade, a Capitol Hill resident and campaign associate for the Washington Environmental Council, has also announced his campaign for the 43rd District seat.
One name that won’t be involved in either race is Kshama Sawant. The second-term City Council member tells CHS she is not considering jumping into the 43rd District state House race or the 7th Congressional District race. “I am extremely focused on my duties as a City Council member,” Sawant said.