King County Council Member Joe McDermott, the defeated candidate for the 7th Congressional District who happens to have the same last name as retiring 7th District Congressman Jim McDermott, has endorsed his once-competitor, Brady Piñero Walkinshaw.
This is big news: McDermott's endorsement likely shores up major support for Walkinshaw, the state representative from Capitol Hill who barely nudged McDermott out of the recent primary election. Walkinshaw won 21.29 percent of the primary vote to McDermott's 19.1 percent.
It also puts increasing pressure on Pramila Jayapal, the state senator running for the same position, who swept up 42 percent of the 7th District electorate.
In April, McDermott went negative on Jayapal's campaign, criticizing her for missing a budget vote to fundraise.
Jayapal, like Walkinshaw, has emphasized a career of fighting for immigrant rights and racial justice. Unlike Walkinshaw, however, she was also a strong supporter of Bernie Sanders. Throughout the race, supporters have championed Jayapal, the only woman of color in the state senate, as a social justice movement builder.
Walkinshaw and his supporters have often characterized him as a bridge-building pragmatist who knows how to work both sides of the aisle.
Will McDermott's primary voters lend their support to Walkinshaw in the general? And if so, will it be enough for him to beat Jayapal?
It's worth noting that if you add McDermott's primary percentage (19.1 percent) to Walkinshaw's primary percentage (21.29 percent), it doesn't add up to Jayapal's primary percentage (42 percent). But the general election is not the primary election.
Now the real race is on.
UPDATE: Pramila Jayapal's campaign spokesperson, Todd Prieb, sent over the following response to the news.
Pramila remains committed to representing this district with her bold progressive leadership that will reshape our government into one that lifts all of us up without tearing any one down. She is excited and honored to have received a remarkable 42% of the vote in a 9-way primary, more than the combined number of votes of her two closest opponents. She believes her message and track record of progressive results will continue to resonate with voters, and she is ready to do what worked for her in the primary—having conversations with voters at their doors and on the phone about her vision for opportunity for all residents of the 7th Congressional District. She remains committed to ensuring we address income inequality in our region, expand social security and medicare, invest in free college for young people, and address the crisis of climate change. She’s proud to have delivered results right here at home for the past 25 years, and looks forward to bringing her strong track record of leadership, values, and results to Congress.