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State Rep. McDermott seeking Senate seat
State Rep. McDermott seeking Senate seat
West Seattle seat being vacated by Senator Poulsen

Openly Gay state Rep. Joe McDermott (D-34) is seeking the appointment to the 34th Legislative District State Senate seat, which is being vacated by state Senator Erik Poulsen (D-34), who has accepted a position lobbying for public utilities.

"I am seeking to be one of the choices and, in fact, the first choice of the precinct committee officers in my district," McDermott told the Seattle Gay News on Wednesday.

Precinct committee officers from the district will meet to compile a list of their top three choices to fill the post. The list is then forwarded on to the King County Democrats, before coming before members of the King County Metropolitan Council, who will make the actual appointment. The council has traditionally adopted the first choice on the list.

"I am calling [the precinct committee officers] to ask for their support for the appointment, to be their first choice or to be a part of the appointment process," said McDermott.

He has a powerful ally. State Rep. Eileen Cody (D-34) has said she will support his nomination.

McDermott has been elected to four terms and served in the state House of Representatives for seven years. He is one of five openly Gay lawmakers serving in Olympia; four in the House and one in the Senate.

If he is appointed to the Senate seat, he must run to finish out the unexpired two years of Sen. Poulsen's current term in the fall of 2008. He would then have to run again in 2010 for a full four-year term.

McDermott said the prospect of working again with state Sen. Ed Murray (D-43), who is also Gay, was appealing. "I enjoyed working with Ed when we both were in the House and this year when he was in the Senate," he said. "I would be happy to be back in the same chamber working with him again."

He says there is still a lot of work to do on behalf of the region's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community. He believes another voice in the state Senate would bring additional legislative gains.

"I am certainly appreciative of the support from our community over the seven years I have been in the House," said McDermott. "I would look forward to continuing to work for our community in the Senate. I would hope to have their support in making this change."

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