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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 22, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 04
Joe McDermott will run for Congress
Section One
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Joe McDermott will run for Congress

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

King County Council chair Joe McDermott announced on January 20 that he will run for the Seventh District congressional seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Jim McDermott (no relation to Joe).

The Seventh Congressional District includes most of Seattle, Vashon Island, Burien, Normandy Park, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Woodway, and Edmonds.

McDermott the candidate has served on the County Council since 2010, replacing Dow Constantine, who was elected County Executive. Previously, McDermott represented the West Seattle 34th Legislative District in the state Senate (2007-2010) and House (2001-2007).

McDermott the non-candidate announced his retirement after 14 terms in Congress on January 4.

'As the son of schoolteachers, I am running for Congress to ensure that middle-class Washingtonians continue to have a strong voice in Washington, D.C., and that's why overturning Citizens United and preventing dark money from destroying our politics will be my priority from my first day in office - so we can finally achieve the progressive results our families need,' Joe McDermott said in a statement.

McDermott's only declared opponent to date, 43rd District Rep. Brady Walkinshaw, has also mentioned the corrosive effect of money on politics and has promised not to take any PAC contributions for his campaign.

In spite of ruling out PAC money, Walkinshaw has turned out to be a fundraising wonder, bringing in $300,000 since declaring his candidacy on December 3.

As chair of the King County Board of Health, Joe McDermott has advocated classifying gun violence as a public health issue and was instrumental in designing an anti-gun program that has become a model for both state and federal governments.

'For too long, politicians in Washington, D.C., have kowtowed to the National Rifle Association,' he said in his announcement.

'It is past time that we pass tough background checks, ban military-style assault weapons plaguing our communities, and once and for all hold gun manufacturers liable for the over thirty thousand deaths they cause in our country every year.'

Like Walkinshaw, McDermott is openly Gay, and also like Walkinshaw, he made his mark as a state legislator, having been chosen Assistant Majority Floor Leader by his Democratic colleagues in Olympia.

Others mentioned as possible candidates for the Seventh District Congressional seat are state Sens. Pramila Jayapal (D-37) and David Frockt (D-46).

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