State Rep. Jessyn Farrell to Resign From House Seat to Focus on Seattle Mayoral Race

State Rep. Jessyn Farrell to Resign From House Seat to Focus on Seattle Mayoral Race

The move will leave the House Democrats’ slim majority a bit slimmer.

Rep. Jessyn Farrell, who has represented northeast Seattle’s 46th Legislative district since 2012, will step down from her seat in the state House to focus on her recently-announced campaign for Seattle mayor.

The news came in a press release Tuesday that emphasized the candidate’s policy priorities, which include housing affordability, protecting the city’s social safety net, environment, and transportation (before Farrell was a state representative, she led the advocacy group Transportation Choices Coalition). On Wednesday, she’ll be flanked by colleagues and supporters at the University District Food Bank as she makes a more detailed pitch.

“She wants to go full in; she is fully committed to this race,” says Lily Eriksen, Farrell’s campaign manager. “And the only way to do that is really to step down. It was a difficult decision. She’s loved being a state representative.”

Farrell’s departure will cut the House’s slender Democratic majority from two votes to one — making the ratio now 49 to 48 — during a second special session crunch with plenty of heavy budget wrangling left to go. But her campaign insists that she’s not leaving her Democratic colleagues in the lurch — a notion perhaps emphasized by the fact that three Democratic state reps plan to join her at the announcement Wednesday, including two from Seattle: Rep. Nicole Macri and Rep. Noel Frame. “She’s done a lot of work talking to people to make sure that the Democrats and the [46th] district aren’t going to be hamstrung,” says Eriksen. Although not every single Democrat knew about the decision until it started appearing on Twitter late Tuesday, Farrell “has worked and met with the relevant people about this to make sure that it’s OK, to make sure that it’s done in the right way.”

Sources in Olympia confirm that her departure won’t have much of an impact on the legislature this late in the game. While Washington Democrats might have felt differently back in February, when controversial bills demanded every vote, pretty much everything that’s being worked on and passed right now, during the second round of overtime, is bipartisan.

There are three weeks left to go in the session, which should give lawmakers plenty of time to replace Farrell’s seat. That process, in brief: The Democratic Party’s local precinct committee officers (PCOs) select three nominees, which they submit, in order of preference, to the King County Council for consideration. According to Michael Maddux, Vice Chair of the King County Democrats, the PCOs are on track to make their selections on Saturday, June 10. The Council could vote on them as soon as the following Monday, and voila, the state House has a new representative. So, it might be down to the wire, but either way, Washington Democrats aren’t worried. Save that for the government shutdown.

sbernard@seattleweekly.com




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in News & Comment

The Monroe Correctional Complex on April 9, 2020. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Formerly incarcerated people regain right to vote in Washington

Rights restored immediately upon release.

Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance
Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance

Nonprofits, activists are expecting greater need as workers are laid off.

Spring Chinook Salmon. Photo courtesy Michael Humling, US Fish & Wildlife Service
Salmon update: King County wants cleaner water, more habitat

Salmon and orcas are in the spotlight once again as King County… Continue reading

Guns seized during April 7 arrests (photo credit: Dept. of Justice)
More than 20 arrested across the Puget Sound in drug distribution conspiracy

DOJ says law enforcement agencies seized over 70 guns and hundreds of thousands in cash.

T
Sheriff’s office wants help identifying Green River killer victim

Staff reports In 2003, Gary Ridgway, Washington’s notorious Green River killer, pleaded… Continue reading

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. File photo
King County needs more lawyers to attack backlog of cases

6,107 open cases is double the normal amount for King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Public Health – Seattle & King County staff administering COVID-19 vaccine to a local emergency responder. COURTESY PHOTO, Public Health-Seattle & King County
Starting April 15, everyone 16 and older is eligible for a vaccine

Gov. Inslee said an expected increase in vaccine supply enables the state to open eligibility.

A CVS pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Phase Finder for vaccine eligibility to be eliminated March 31

Eligibility verification via Phase Finder no longer required for appointments, vaccinations beginning this week.

Courtesy photo
Issaquah School District settles negligence lawsuit for $4.25 million

The lawsuit alleged the district covered for a now-convicted child molester while he was a teacher.

Sound Publishing file photo
More people can get the COVID vaccine on March 31, but supply is still limited

The number of people eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine is set… Continue reading

Kindergarten and first grade students line up outside of Panther Lake Elementary in Federal Way on March 15. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror
Inslee: K-12 schools can reduce COVID social distancing

The governor reduced social distancing requirements for K-12 classrooms from 6 feet to 3 feet.

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. (Wikimedia Commons)
Insurers told to stop using credit scores to set rates

A ban of that practice will be in place until the pandemic is over, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler says.