Common Dreams | 03 August, 2016
Pramila Jayapal, one of the standard-bearers for Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution movement, won a decisive victory in the primary race for Washington’s 7th Congressional District Tuesday night and will advance to the November general election.
Jayapal, an Indian-born state senator who was endorsed by Sanders in April, won 38 percent of the vote. The Seattle Times reported late Tuesday that rivals Joe McDermott and Brady Walkinshaw were “neck and neck,” taking—by the latest count—21.5 percent and 20.9 percent respectively. The top two will advance to the fall election.
The victory was celebrated widely by progressives now looking to down-ticket races to advance the policies championed by Sanders’ presidential campaign. Her win follows other primary victories for the left, including Zephyr Teachout in New York’s 19th Congressional District and Jamie Raskin in Maryland’s 8th.
“Pramila Jayapal winning this primary is huge for progressives,” said Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
“She is a bold progressive game changer whose strong performance shows that voters are hungry for bold progressive ideas like expanding Social Security benefits, debt-free college, and a $15 minimum wage,” Taylor continued. “With Pramila’s record as an accomplished activist and state senator, we are confident Pramila will be one of the strongest partners progressives have ever had in Congress and one of the strongest representatives Washington has ever had.”
Jayapal herself said Tuesday evening, “We’re building a movement that can clearly stake out a positive vision for the future of America at a time when too many people feel cynical about change, and when too many people are struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table.”
Indeed, when Sanders launched the next phase of his political revolution, he told supporters, “Our goal will be to advance the progressive agenda that we believe in and to elect like-minded candidates at the federal, state and local levels who are committed to accomplishing our goals.”
And as the editors of The Nation predicted when they endorsed Jayapal last month, “When Washington State voters send Pramila Jayapal to Washington, DC, she’ll be part of a progressive wave that has the very real potential to change the direction of Congress and the country.”