On Tuesday night, Pramila Jayapal made history.
The 37th District State Sen. became the first Indian-American woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, winning the 7th Congressional District seat vacated by retiring incumbent Jim McDermott in a hotly-contested race against state Rep. Brady Walkinshaw.
In a statement, Jayapal said she felt deeply honored to be elected, and urged her constituents to stand together to “stop the disastrous rollback of decades of mainstream progress in this country.”
“As your elected representative in what is likely to be a hostile Congress, I will need all of you at my side, not just in some theoretical way but literally every step of the way,” she said. “Because our task is not just to fight when it is convenient. But when it is absolutely urgent and when it is the hardest.”
Walkinshaw said in his concession statement that, when it comes to his opponent, “the aspirations that unite us vastly outweigh our differences.”
“We’re a place that strives for justice and equity,” he said. “We’re a place that believes in a natural environment that sustains our future. We’re a place that embraces immigrants and refugees. We’re a place that can be a source of inspiration in the difficult days ahead, and we must continue to demonstrate how our Democratic values can win”
Sen. Patty Murray and Gov. Jay Inslee both won re-election, fending off challenges from Republicans Chris Vance and Bill Bryant. Democrats also won most of the nine statewide offices on the ballot, as Cyrus Habib won the race for lieutenant governor, Pat McCarthy for state auditor, and Hilary Franz for commissioner of public lands. Mike Kreidler and Bob Ferguson won re-election for insurance commissioner and attorney general, respectively, while the GOP continued its hold on the Secretary of State’s office with Kim Wyman winning a second-term over former Seattle City Councilmember Tina Podlodowski. The GOP also takes over in the State Treasurer’s office as Duane Davidson defeated Michael Waite in a rare two-Republican statewide race.
King, Pierce, and Snohomish County voters also approved ST3, giving the green light to light-rail expansion throughout the region.