Shelly Crocker, a bankruptcy attorney who lives in Bryant with her partner of 28 years, announced today that she's running for North Seattle's 46th District state house seat being vacated by Democrat Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney, who's retiring.

In a press release, Crocker casts herself as a local Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard law professor who's narrowly leading Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA). Crocker, a lesbian, says her focus will be on systemic challenges including homelessness, poverty, education, health care, and personal debt. She currently serves on the board of Building Changes, a homeless-advocacy umbrella group.

Crocker joins two other women---low-income housing activist Sarajane Siegfriedt and former Transportation Choices Coalition director Jessyn Farrell---in the race for Kenney's seat.

Sylvester Cann, the former aide to the late 46th District Sen. Scott White, is running for the house seat to which now Rep. Gerry Pollet was appointed after White's death last year; that seat was previously filled by Sen. David Frockt, who was appointed to White's senate seat.

With several longtime female legislators retiring this year—among them, Sen. Margarita Prentice (D-11) and Reps. Debbie Regala (D-27), Mary Lou Dickerson (D-36), Deb Eddy (D-48), and Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney (D-46)—and with Rep. Jeannie Darnielle (D-29) leaving her house seat to run for Regala’s senate seat—an impressive new crop of female candidates has sprung up to take their place. And maany of them are explicitly naming the recent attacks on women's access to health care among their reasons for running. The race for Dickerson's seat already includes four women---port commissioner Gael Tarleton, Green Party activist Linde Knighton, Progressive Majority leader Noel Frame, and Mike O’Brien aide Sahar Fathi.

Crocker's consultant, Jason Bennett, says Crocker has raised $13,000 in the past 72 hours. She's also been endorsed by Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes.

As for the plenitude of strong female candidates this year, Bennett says, "I wish we could scatter them across the state instead of running them against each other."
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