Jayapal Take 37th District Senate Seat, Initiative 594 Passes Overwhelmingly

by Staff Writer

Pramila Jayapal greets supporters at The Royal Room in Columbia City.
Pramila Jayapal greets supporters at The Royal Room in Columbia City.

In an outcome that many anticipated from the moment she announced her intentions to run, 37th District voters crowned Pramila Jayapal their new State Senator Tuesday night.

Jayapal, primarily known for her activism on immigration and police accountability issues, took nearly 67% of the vote to business professor and entrepreneur Louis Watanabe’s 33%.

“I’m proud to represent the most racially and economically diverse district in Washington State,” Jayapal told a packed room of supporters at her campaign party at the Royal Room in the Columbia City neighborhood of Seattle. “Our district represents the future of this state and country. As I’ve said all along, this campaign isn’t about electing me, it’s about electing us. Given the scale of the change we seek we have to prepare ourselves to what amounts to a permanent campaign. And this is just the beginning.”

The 37th District’s two other races played out predictably as both incumbents Sharon Tomiko Santos (State Representative Position 1) and Eric Pettigrew (State Representative Position 2)- who are both Democrats- overwhelmingly defeated their Republican challengers-  Daniel Bretzke and Tamra Smilanich respectively. Both victors received over 84% of casts votes.

In other election night developments Initiative 594- which would require background checks for firearm sales and purchases- was passed by over 60% of Washington State voters. The initiative was of particular concern to South Seattle residents as gun violence has increased steeply in the area within the last few months.

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