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Brady Walkinshaw, state representative that started campaigning before the retirement was announced.
Joe McDermott, King County Council member, former state rep and senator.
David Frockt, state senator representing the 46th legislative district.
Jenny Durkan, former U.S. attorney who is now practicing at a private firm
• While Joe McDermott says he's still thinking about whether to run, most people expect him to definitely jump in. Frockt and Durkan are also strong possibilities. Everyone else people are talking (or whispering) about is a wildcard, with just as many reasons they might get in as reasons they might stay out.
• A candidate will need to raise somewhere around $1 million to make a viable run for this seat. As the only one already formally in and with more than $200,000 raised in his first month, Brady Walkinshaw has a clear advantage.
• None of the four most likely contenders has a strong anti-establishment or outsider identity. They're likely to agree on many federal policy issues. Absent a few nuances, like Walkinshaw's relative lack of experience, their résumé make them all pretty equal in terms of viability for the seat.
• Walkinshaw, McDermott, and Durkan are all gay, meaning they'll be left to split what several sources called Seattle's "gay money" as well as support from high-profile LGBTQ groups. Again, Walkinshaw—who's also close with Ed Murray, a longtime state lawmaker before becoming Seattle's first gay mayor—has a head start on that fundraising.
Where's the Radical Lefty Who Wants Jim McDermott's Seat In Congress?
Kshama Sawant's popularity doesn't extend beyond Seattle's Capital Hill.
Pramila Jayapal. I keep hearing her name but that's about it.
Mike McGinn? No, his isolationist, Seattle go-it-alone may have played will with the Stranger, but he couldn't draw a majority in Seattle to keep on being mayor.
Mike O'Brien? He would do well, but was just re-elected to Seattle City Council. His popularity might get him votes from Seattle but it's questionable if that would extend through a congressional district.
Robert Cruickshank, a senior campaign manager at Democracy for America and former McGinn staffer, says candidates for the 7th should focus on the issues that are coming up in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination like the Trans Pacific Partnership, college tuition and debt, and banking reform. They should also consider taking the more populist path of a candidate like Bernie Sanders.
"All of these candidates are going to have to demonstrate to Seattle voters why we should be excited about them," Cruickshank says. "None of them should assume their résumé is going to get the job done."
Lorena González? She has been in her Seattle City Council position for almost a couple months.
Rod Dembowski. The King County Council member is a little too moderate.
Reuven Carlyle. The state representative for the 36th district will probably take a serious look at running and could jump in.
Courtney Gregoire, Port of Seattle Commissioner, daughter of former governor, Chris Gregoire, might have the resources to give it a run.