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Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

Jessyn Farrell resigning from state House to focus on Seattle mayoral campaign

State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jessyn Far­rell (D‑46th Dis­trict; North Seat­tle, Lake For­est Park, Ken­more) announced today that she will resign from her posi­tion to focus full time on her cam­paign to become the next May­or of Seattle.

Far­rel­l’s cam­paign said in a news release she would elab­o­rate on her deci­sion tomor­row in a press con­fer­ence in the Uni­ver­si­ty District.

A host of elect­ed lead­ers who are back­ing Far­rell will be on hand, the cam­paign says.

“Join­ing Far­rell will be city, state, and local lead­ers sup­port­ing her cam­paign for may­or, includ­ing Lt. Gov­er­nor Cyrus Habib, State Audi­tor Pat McCarthy, State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Nicole Macri (D — Cap­i­tal Hill), State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mia Gregerson (D‑SeaTac), State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Noel Frame (D — NW Seat­tle), King Coun­ty Coun­cilmem­ber Clau­dia Bal­duc­ci, and Seat­tle Coun­cil mem­ber Rob Johnson.”

Jessyn Farrell

Jessyn Far­rell par­tic­i­pates in a pan­el at Jeanne Kohl-Welles’ twen­ty-sec­ond post-elec­tion post­mortem at Hales Ales in Seat­tle (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Far­rell is one of twen­ty-one can­di­dates run­ning to become the next May­or of Seat­tle. Most of the hope­fuls are men. Seat­tle has not had a female may­or since Bertha Knight Lan­des left office in 1928. Far­rell hopes to change that, as do Cary Moon, Mary Mar­tin, Jen­ny Durkan, and Nikki­ta Oliv­er, the oth­er female candidates.

The release does­n’t say when Far­rel­l’s res­ig­na­tion will become effec­tive, but pre­sum­ably, it will be effec­tive immediately.

Far­rel­l’s depar­ture will leave the House Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus with only forty-nine mem­bers, which isn’t enough to pass leg­is­la­tion (the Con­sti­tu­tion requires an absolute major­i­ty of fifty of nine­ty-eight mem­bers to pass bills).

To ensure the House Democ­rats aren’t left short-hand­ed, the King Coun­ty Democ­rats and King Coun­ty Coun­cil will need to move swift­ly to nom­i­nate and appoint a suc­ces­sor to Far­rell as pro­vid­ed for by the Wash­ing­ton State Constitution.

The process will begin with a spe­cial nom­i­nat­ing cau­cus called by the coun­ty par­ty. At the cau­cus, elect­ed and appoint­ed PCOs rep­re­sent­ing precincts in the 46th will select three indi­vid­u­als to go for­ward to the King Coun­ty Coun­cil. The exec­u­tive board of the King Coun­ty Democ­rats will then rat­i­fy those choic­es as required by par­ty rules. Then, the King Coun­ty Coun­cil will pick from among the three.

Who­ev­er the Coun­cil choos­es will take Far­rel­l’s place and will serve out most of the rest of her term. Because Far­rell is resign­ing after the close of fil­ing this year, no spe­cial elec­tion will be held in 2017 in the 46th. A spe­cial elec­tion will be held next year, con­cur­rent with the reg­u­lar elec­tion at which the posi­tion is usu­al­ly contested.

It is prob­a­ble that the per­son the Coun­cil appoints will seek to remain in the posi­tion by ask­ing vot­ers to retain them in the 2018 elections.

The 46th Dis­trict is a safe Demo­c­ra­t­ic dis­trict, so Far­rel­l’s depar­ture will have no long term effect on the bal­ance of pow­er in the state House of Representatives.

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One Comment

  1. The 46th has a long bench.

    # by Mike Barer :: May 31st, 2017 at 6:03 AM
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