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King County Council appoints Rebecca Saldana to state Senate seat

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Rebecca Saldana

SEATTLE — The King County Council on Monday appointed Rebecca Saldana, who heads the progressive labor and environmental organization Puget Sound Sage, to replace Pramila Jayapal in the state Senate. Jayapal was elected to Congress last month.

Three candidates made the shortlist put forward by the Washington State Democratic Central Committee. In addition to Saldana, the other candidates were

  • Rory O’Sullivan, who serves as managing attorney at the King County Bar Association’s Housing Justice Project and as chair of the 37th Legislative District Democrats
  • Shasti Conrad, the chief operating officer of a progressive consulting firm

In the November election, Jayapal defeated fellow Democrat Brady Walkinshaw to win the 7th Congressional District seat vacated by retiring U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott.

Saldana, who will serve in the seat until a special election can be held next year, issued the following statement:

“Thank you to the King County Council for appointing me to be the next State Senator for the 37th Legislative District, one of the most diverse districts in the state. Like outgoing State Senator, and now Congresswoman-elect, Pramila Jayapal, I will be a fierce advocate for workers, immigrants, seniors, women, children and communities of color in our district.

“Thank you also to the many volunteers, PCOs, and elected leaders for their support. This process is rarely an easy one for Democratic Party districts, but it generates healthy and needed conversations among our communities. It was an honor to join Rory O’Sullivan and Shasti Conrad as the three people nominated by the PCOs to take Senator Jayapal’s place.

“Now, I’m eager to get to work. The 37th Legislative District faces many important challenges such as transit, education funding and affordable housing. I am going to Olympia to help make our district an even better place to live, to stand up against hate, and fight for a more fair economy and equitable society.

Again, thank you to all my supporters and to the King County Council for today’s decision. I look forward to representing you well in Olympia, and to running in the special election in 2017.”