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The Magnanimous Seven: Former 43rd Dems chair joins crowded race for Olympia

(Image: Friends of Scott Forbes)

(Image: Friends of Scott Forbes)

Another week, another progressive Central Seattleite running to represent the 43rd District in Olympia.

Scott Forbes, Montlake attorney and former chair of the 43rd District Democrats, announced Thursday he will enter the crowded — but still room for more — campaign.

“I’ve been more active in the Democratic party and have been working across a broader range of issues,” Forbes told CHS Thursday morning.

“What I have done and what I have seen in the 43rd — I’ve been able to get rooms of Democrats to work together and be effective.”

Forbes joins a field that grew by 50% earlier this month as labor organizer Marcus Courtney and trial lawyer Daniel Shih jumped into the race. They joined homeless advocate and low income housing expert Nicole Macri who was the first to publicly announce her candidacy last month. Danni Askini, executive director of the Gender Justice League, announced her campaign saying she will be the first transgender person elected to office in Washington State. Political consultant and LGBTQ advocate Thomas Pitchford was the first to quietly launch his campaign in January while Sameer Ranade, a Capitol Hill resident and campaign associate for the Washington Environmental Council, has also joined the race.

Forbes, still well connected to the political currents of the 43rd, said he expects a few more to come.

The 43rd District seat opened up in December when Rep. Brady Walkinshaw decided to make a run in Seattle’s 7th Congressional District — a seat held for 14 terms by the retiring Rep. Jim McDermott. The 43rd covers several neighborhoods on both sides of the cut, including Capitol Hill north of E Madison, University District, Madison Park, Montlake, Wallingford, Eastlake, Greenlake and parts of Fremont, Ravenna, South Lake Union and downtown.

The 46-year-old Forbes lives with his wife Tess, their son Max, and their dog Lady in Montlake, according to his campaign announcement.

With his time leading the 43rd Dems, Forbes says he isn’t necessarily the wonkiest of the candidates — but he was able to rattle off percentage results for the district from the last presidential election. He might just be the most big “D” Democratic.

“I am thrilled to live in a district where the Republicans are a distant third,” Forbes said on the rise of Socialist Alternative.

In Olympia, Forbes said his experience bringing Democrats together in the 43rd will help in the State Legislature. Forbes said he sees the race with so many candidates sharing similar views coming down to issues like who can be “the more effective leader in terms of getting things done.”

“I think it really is about the candidate who does the best job of connecting,” Forbes said.

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