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Democrats pick new Seattle state representative

They also make their support for Jamie Pedersen as a state senator official. He will replace Ed Murray, Seattle's mayor-elect.
Brady Walkinshaw

Brady Walkinshaw

Rep. Jamie Pedersen

Rep. Jamie Pedersen State House of Representatives

After choosing Rep. Jamie Pedersen to fill mayor-elect Ed Murray’s soon to be vacant state Senate seat, Seattle's 43rd District Democrats, at a special caucus on Tuesday night, selected Brady Walkinshaw to take Pedersen’s spot in the state House of Representatives.

Pedersen, a judicial committee chairman in the house, was unopposed and the group's endorsement of him was widely anticipated. Walkinshaw competed against two other candidates and survived a run-off against 43rd District Democrats chairman Scott Forbes. The other contender for the house seat was Christina Gonzalez, an analyst in King County's Office of Performance, Strategy and Budget.

"I believe we need an activist legislator in Olympia who will fight for social and economic justice," Walkinshaw said in a forum held before the caucus vote. 

The district Democrats will forward the names of their choices to the King County Council, which will officially select replacements for the vacant seats. The council usually goes along with a district organization's recommendations.

Casting ballots at Tuesday night’s meeting were 160 precinct committee officers. In the first round of voting for the House seat nomination, Walkinshaw received 80 votes, Forbes 69 and Gonzales 11. In the run-off Walkinshaw received 87 votes and Forbes 71.

A program officer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Walkinshaw is also the vice chair of the state’s Advisory Board for the Trust for Public Land and a board member at the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, an organization that supports LGBT political candidates. After growing up near Bellingham, Walkinshaw attended Princeton University, where he earned a degree in Public Policy.

During the pre-vote forum, Walkinshaw voiced support for a smorgasbord of progressive causes, including an income tax, increased higher education funding and more highway tolling.

“The transportation package as it stands right now needs to change in order to get my vote as a legislator,” Walkinshaw said. “We need to look at tolling and taxing of our highways and our roadways as a source of progressive taxation.” He went on to say that highway maintenance and transit funding should get more state dollars.

Michael Maddux, Vice Chair for Communications for the 43rd District Democrats, reminded the caucus that their district was safe country when it comes to progressive politics. Attributing this advice to state House speaker Frank Chopp, he said to the crowd, "Some of the best work we can do in the 43rd is to go east and knock on doors."

“We in the 43rd are the big winners tonight,” he also said. “We are going to have tremendous progressive representation.”

Murray will officially leave his state Senate seat on Dec. 31.

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Bill Lucia writes about Seattle City Hall and politics for Crosscut. He can be reached at bill.lucia@crosscut.com and you can follow him on Twitter @bill_lucia.

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Posted Wed, Dec 4, 10:55 a.m. Inappropriate

"I believe we need an activist legislator in Olympia who will fight for social and economic justice,"...

Isn't that what all of them are in Olympia, activists? The difference is that each elected official has their own definition of social and economic justice and that's the problem.


Posted Tue, Dec 10, 7:56 p.m. Inappropriate

Man, the problem is that most of them aren't activist enough! Too many of legislators don't do anything... I hope this guy brings some activism... He looks like he might actually have some fire in his belly - he's got international development experience, which is a great asset - he knows how to get shit done in countries where getting shit done is hard. We need more of that kind of experience around here... Too many politicians are just fundraisers. We need activists who at least take the idea of social justice seriously - some of these folks in Olympia don't even do that much =)


Posted Wed, Dec 4, 1:09 p.m. Inappropriate

So, massive tolling is "Progressive"? I heard on the news that the government said that the most noticeable consequence of the 520 tolls is the loss of poorer people using the roadway. Progressive? It is just social engineering with the intent of keeping the highways for the wealthy for whom the cost is meaningless. Very disappointing to read this progressive statement.


Posted Thu, Dec 5, 10:12 a.m. Inappropriate

Somebody actually began a sentence this way --

"I heard on the news that the government said . . .."

I've come to realize that 95% of Crosscut's contributors (writers and comment producers) embrace what "the government" says via "the news" as gospel. It's nothing short of pathetic.


Posted Wed, Dec 4, 2:49 p.m. Inappropriate

Well there was certainly a few things left out of this report.

One, Mr. Walkinshaw is not exactly a well-known person in the 43rd. I'm not even the most active in the 43rd but when I go to meetings, I generally know who in the room shows up ALL the time versus who doesn't (like me). Never have seen or heard of him before the nominating meeting.

That he went out and got 60 PCO positions filled and luckily, right before he got nominated and then the position got voted on, is a bit troubling. Almost felt like he packed the court. So bravo for that good ground game.

He's going to get a careful eye over the next year from a lot of us. I'm waiting to be wowed.


Posted Thu, Dec 5, 10:21 a.m. Inappropriate

Pedersen, a judicial committee chairman in the house, was unopposed

He was one of the Seattle Popular Monorail Authority's main outside lawyers. The SPMA was a darling of local democrats, so this endorsement of Pedersen isn't surprising.

During the pre-vote forum, Walkinshaw voiced support for a smorgasbord of progressive causes, including an income tax, increased higher education funding and more highway tolling.

Have we had a sea-change? For a generation the local democrats wanted absolutely nothing to do with progressive taxing.

The unique democrats that flourish in Washington State -- and particularly in the Seattle area -- loathe the notion of progressive taxing. Look at Murray's record in the state legislature – all he did was push for legislation making the tax impacts on the less-well-off worse, and he never advocated for progressive taxing strategies. Chopp is a huge regressive tax pimp.

Elsewhere in the country democrats are liberal. They try to level the playing field and work for social justice. That's essentially what “liberal” means. Here though the democrats want to increase the wealth gap between the rich and the poor by using nasty taxation policies.

The democratic party leaders and their functionaries now in power made their careers here authorizing sales taxes and car tab taxes for local taxing districts and then working to impose them. Those are the singular accomplishments of Frank Chopp, Ed Murray, Greg Nickels, Dow Constantine, Larry Phillips, etc. McGinn followed suit. Even socialist Sawant advocated for car tab tax hike for transit, instead of questioning the management of Metro, explaining why additional tax revenue might be needed, or advocating for a revenue-raiser not designed to hit the families with the least the hardest.

Look at how “tax the people with the least the heaviest” is the unvarying theme of the democrats. King County Metro’s high taxing targeting the middle class and poor dates from its first sales tax in 1972. Then Metro doubled its sales tax in 1980. Then the democrats around here really started going to town. They controlled King County and hiked its sales taxes again for Metro in 2000, and then again in 2006. In 2011 the democrats began collecting an additional car tab tax. That completely unaccountable municipality Sound Transit was designed and operated by democrats. It got a big sales tax and car tab tax from the democrats in the state legislature in 1992, and the local democrats began imposing those with gusto. Another unaccountable local taxing district (the Seattle Popular Monorail Authority) was created and authorized to impose heavy car tab taxes. It did that for over three years, and completely wasted all that tax revenue. Now we pay 1.8% sales tax just for transit, plus car tab taxes, plus a property tax – far more regressive taxing and higher overall taxing compared with everywhere else in the country. People in most metro areas with light rail pay little or no new regressive taxes for it.

Seattle had a modest payroll tax a few years back, and then the city council repealed that progressive tax. What did it replace it with? You guessed it, a TBD car tab fee the democrats in the state legislature had just handed it!

What are the democrats here like Constantine and Phillips pushing now? Higher car tab taxes both for Metro and the Seattle TBD. What do they want three years from now? More regressive taxes for Sound Transit. Murray says he wants “city-only” regressive taxes on top of that for more streecars/light rail.

Everyone gets this, right? There is FAR more taxing for transit that targets the middle class and lower-middle class around here than necessary, and those are entirely democratic party operatives' policies. It literally is all the democrats here want to do. They have a full range of revenue-raising options, including the reasonable methods the peers use, but all they do is target those with the least wealth the hardest.


Posted Thu, Dec 5, 1:57 p.m. Inappropriate

You can have 'Equal Justice' or 'Social Justice' but you can't have both.

Apparently, the Democrats chose the candidate who does not favor 'Equal Justice Under Law' as stated on the US Supreme Court building.

You think Boeing, or other companies, think Walkinshaw is favorable to business? Not a chance. The Dems decision only reinforces their 'anti-business' attitude.

Posted Thu, Dec 5, 2:18 p.m. Inappropriate

The democrats that have been controlling taxation policy in this state are beloved by business groups. The democrats have been hiking regressive taxes, ones that target the not-well-off individuals and families here for disproportionately-heavy financial impacts. Look at the results:


In contrast to heavy regressive taxing, the democrats won't make corporations and rich individuals pay their fair share. That's why we have the most regressive state/local taxing structure in the country.


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