Pramila Jayapal enters Congressional race for Jim McDermott’s seat

State Sen. Pramila Jayapal, King County Councilmember Joe McDermott and State Rep. Brady Walkinshaw have all announced a run for retiring Congressman Jim McDermott's seat. Hassan Diis (lower right) has said he or someone else from the East African community also may run. (Photos of Jayapal, McDermott and Walkinshaw courtesy the campaigns. Photo of Diis by Alex Garland for the Seattle Globalist.)
State Sen. Pramila Jayapal, King County Councilmember Joe McDermott and State Rep. Brady Walkinshaw have all announced a run for retiring Congressman Jim McDermott’s seat. Hassan Diis (lower right) has said he or someone else from the East African community is likely to run. (Photos of Jayapal, McDermott and Walkinshaw courtesy the campaigns. Photo of Diis by Alex Garland for the Seattle Globalist.)

State Sen. Pramila Jayapal is entering the race for the Congressional seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA7), she announced Thursday.

According to a statement released by Jayapal’s campaign, she promised to stand for progressive issues such as raising the national minimum wage, expanding Social Security and Medicare and and college affordability.

“I’ll be a bold progressive fighter, someone who will not just represent you but will stand up for you and your values. If you elect me, you can be sure that I will stand up for working people, not the one percent,” she said in her prepared remarks.

Jayapal does not live in 7th District, but she told The Stranger and The Seattle Times that she plans to move to the district if she is elected. Living in the district is not a requirement for a Congressional seat.

Jayapal, who founded OneAmerica, enters a race that was thrown open after McDermott announced his retirement after 14 terms in office.

Jayapal, a Democrat who represents the 37th district in the state legislature, joins a several Democrats who have come forward as candidates or who have said publicly that they are considering a run.

Fellow state legislator Rep. Brady Walkinshaw announced a run in December, before McDermott announced his retirement. In the six weeks since Walkinshaw announced his candidacy for the position, he raised more than $300,000 and secured several endorsements.

King County Councilmember Joe McDermott also announced a run on Wednesday. Joe, no relation to Jim, also served in the state legislature for 9 years. Joe McDermott said in his announcement his priorities include overturning the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and addressing gun violence on the national level.

Crosscut reported earlier this month that the East African Liaison for the 37th Legislative District Democrats Hassan Diis says he or someone else from the East African community is likely to make a run at McDermott’s seat. The Seattle Times reported that Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, who is a member of the Socialist Alternative party, also has not ruled out a run for the seat.

The 7th district, which covers most of Seattle; portions of Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Edmonds, Mountlake Terrace, Burien and Normandy Park and all of Vashon Island. The 7th has been represented without interruption by Democrats since 1979.

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