By Tyler Thomas

Earlier this year, Congressman Jim McDermott announced he would be retiring from his position as the Washington 7th district representative.

McDermott, who was first elected to the House in 1988, has held his position for 28 years and won 14 consecutive elections. In all that time, he never faced opposition on the November ballot by another democrat.

That won’t necessarily be the case for his replacement.

The announcement of McDermott’s retirement set off a frenzy in the Democratic party to find a successor for the longtime incumbent of the Seattle area. Two candidates emerged from the as the frontrunners, both hailing from the Democratic group.

Pramila Jayapal is a Washington State Senator, elected back in 2014 from District 37. She has received a number of glowing endorsements from high ranking Democrats including former Governor Gary Locke and Representative Adam Smith.

Brady Walkinshaw was appointed as a member of the Washington House of Representatives in 2013. Walkinshaw is a former Gates Foundation staffer who studies at Princeton University.

While Jayapal held a 42.1 percent to 21.3 percent advantage over Walkinshaw in the primary, the endorsement of eliminated candidate Joe McDermott, who received 19.1 percent in the primary, should boost Walkinshaw’s numbers to make it a much closer race.

Other Races To Watch

Jay Inslee vs. Bill Bryant—Governor

While no Republican has won the Washington State governor’s office since 1980, elections have been close in recent years. Inslee, the incumbent, defeated Rob McKenna in 2012 by just 3 points. However, in the 2004 election, Christine Gregoire won the gubernatorial race by just under a miniscule 140 votes, but then came back and defeated Dino Rossi again in 2008, this time by almost 7 points.

Current polls have Inslee leading by as much as 12 points.


Kim Wyman vs. Tina Podlodowski—Secretary of State

Elected back in 2012, Kim Wyman defeated Kathleen Drew by less than a point leading to her first term as Secretary of State. Wyman served as the Thurston County Auditor for 12 years before becoming the only Republican to win a statewide office in 2012. Tina Podlodowski, a former Microsoft project mangager, served on the Seattle City Council from 1995 to 2000.

In the primary, Wyman finished with 47.9 percent of the vote, just 1.5 points higher than Podlodowski, at 46.1 percent.


State Senate and House

With the Republicans holding just a 1 seat majority in the Washington State Senate, and the Democrats holding a 2 seat majority in the House, this election could shake a number of things up in either parties pursuit for sole control of state policy.


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