Contest for Congress

Less than nine weeks remain between now and Election Day.

Local voters will head to the ballot box to cast a vote for president, senate, and governor, but perhaps the most notable race on the ballot is the one to replace retiring incumbent Jim McDermott in the 7th Congressional District.

After a hotly contested primary, that battle has been whittled down to two candidates to represent nearly 700,000 constituents in Seattle, Vashon Island, Edmonds, Shoreline, Kenmore, Burien, and Normandy Park: 37th District State Sen. Pramila Jayapal, and 43rd District State Rep. Brady Walkinshaw.

Jayapal boasts a long history of advocacy work, as the founder of the Hate Free Zone (now OneAmerica), which has grown to become Washington’s largest immigrant and refugee advocacy organization. She won election to the state senate in 2014.

Walkinshaw spent most of the past decade prior to entering the State House in a number of different roles, serving as an AmeriCorps volunteer in a public school in New Jersey, studying as a Fulbright Scholar in Honduras, and working on issues of food security in Ethiopia and Brazil. He won his first full-term in the state House in 2014 after previously being appointed to fill Jamie Pedersen’s seat, with the latter moving to the senate with the election of Ed Murray as Seattle mayor.

Either will be left with big shoes to fill, replacing an incumbent that spent nearly three decades representing the district in Congress, and one who received at least 70 percent of the vote in each of his 13 re-election campaigns.

The 7th is considered one of the most Democratic districts on the West Coast, with the party’s presidential nominee winning by at least 40 points in every election since 1996.

While Jayapal handily won the primary with more than 40 percent of the vote, and Walkinshaw eked into the second spot after trailing King County Councilmember Joe McDermott (no relation) on election night, the battle between the pair of progressive democrats for the safely blue seat promises to be a close one.

The Queen Anne & Magnolia News recently sat down with both candidates to discuss the key points of their platforms, their strategies for the remaining weeks of the campaign, and their hopes if elected. 

To read our Q&A with Walkinshaw, click here.

To read our Q&A with Jayapal, click here