US Congressman Adam Smith (left) has thrown his support behind Pramila Jayapal. But who will Congressman Jim McDermott endorse, if anyone?
Congressman Adam Smith (left) has thrown his support behind Pramila Jayapal. But who will Seattle Congressman Jim McDermott endorse, if anyone? Brian Dalbalcon Photography/Pramila Jayapal

State Senator Pramila Jayapal, currently running for Seattle's open 7th Congressional District seat, has won the first Congressional endorsement of the race. US Congressman Adam Smith, who represents Seattle's neighboring 9th District, has thrown his support behind her.

"I’ve watched Pramila work for the last 15 years, delivering real results for the people of the Puget Sound region, both as an organizer and as an elected official," Smith said in his endorsement statement. "I’ve worked closely with her on a number of issues from immigration reform to minimum wage, and am impressed with her ability to work towards real solutions while bringing strong coalitions together. Rarely do we have the opportunity to elect someone to the House who brings this level of vision, experience, leadership and relationships to the table."

Jayapal came out the clear favorite in the primary race, with a nearly 21 point lead ahead of her competitors, State Representative Brady Piñero Walkinshaw and King County Council Member Joe McDermott. McDermott eventually conceded, then endorsed Walkinshaw. Together, McDermott and Walkinshaw's primary vote totals came within shooting range of Jayapal's strong lead.

McDermott's endorsement of Walkinshaw (that's Joe McDermott's endorsement, not the prized endorsement of retiring 7th District Congressman Jim McDermott) appeared likely to help Walkinshaw narrow the race. But then last Friday, State Senate Minority Leader Sharon Nelson, a former Joe McDermott supporter, endorsed Jayapal.

Still, other Congressional endorsements in favor of Walkinshaw could sway the final outcome, most importantly the endorsement of the former Congressman Jim (not Joe!) McDermott himself.

We've put in a call and an e-mail to McDermott's office to see whether he plans on endorsing anyone at all. We'll update if we hear back.