Pramila Jayapal is leading the race to win Seattle’s 7th Congressional District and fill progressive Congressman Jim McDermott’s seat following his retirement.
Overnight, the gap between the candidates narrowed . Second-round results posted early Wednesday show Jayapal leading by 34,206 votes over contender Brady Walkinshaw. Jayapal will serve mostly Seattle, but District 7 also includes Burien, Vashon Island and Edmonds.
Jayapal came to the U.S. as a young immigrant to attend Georgetown University.
She worked as a Washington state senator, representing the 37th Legislative District. She’s
known locally for her part in the push for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle.
“We know that policy decisions are better when all voices are at the table. As the first woman elected from the 7th District, I'll stand up to right-wing attacks on Planned Parenthood; ensure equal pay for equal work; guarantee paid family and sick leave; raise the minimum wage nationally like we did in Seattle,” Jayapal wrote in the Washington state voters' guide.
The Seattle Times reported that some of Jayapal’s most vigorous backers are in the labor movement.
Her husband, Steve Williamson, is executive vice president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21.
“She’s one of us — I hear this over and over from different labor leaders,” said Nicole Grant, executive secretary of the Martin Luther King Jr. County Labor Council, told The Seattle Times.
Jayapal announced her run for the 7th District after 27-year representative McDermott publicly said in January that he was retiring.
McDermott is nationally famous for traveling to Iraq in the run-up to the 2003 conflict and saying that President George W. Bush would mislead Americans to win their support for the war.
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