UPDATED TO ADD: Last night, the 43rd announced plans to hold a forum with all three candidates at 7:00pm on December 3 at 415 Westlake Ave. N.

As mayor-elect Ed Murray packs his boxes, bound for the seventh floor of city hall, candidates to replace his likely replacement in the state senate, current state Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-43), will meet tonight at the 43rd District Democrats' meeting in the U District (7:00pm, University Heights Center, 5031 University Way NE) to make their pitches for why they should be the next state representative from the 43rd.

Precinct committee officers, who are elected by district residents, will select three candidates' names to send to the King County Council, which has the final call but traditionally picks the candidate with the most votes..

Brady Walkinshaw, a gay, half-Latino Capitol Hill resident, is generally viewed as the frontrunner, although 43rd District chairman Scott Forbes, who's lived in the district since 2007. Cristina Gonzalez, who served on the city's Families and Education Levy Oversight Committee, is also seeking the appointment. 

Here are the three candidates' (slightly abbreviated) bios, provided to the 43rd District members today: 

Brady Walkinshaw

I’m running to be an advocate for social and economic justice in the 43rd and in our State.  I believe strongly in the need to take a long-term view to create the coalitions in our State to rebuild our middle class, reduce carbon emissions, finance higher education, pass a reproductive parity act, and reform our State’s regressive revenue system.  My mother immigrated from Cuba, and I grew up in a rural part of our State working in farming. I’ve spent my career building coalitions on issues from sustainable food systems and educational equity to marriage equality and campaigns to elect progressive candidates.

Cristina Gonzalez

I have an M.A. in Economics and currently work for Executive Dow Constantine's budget office. As adjunct faculty for Seattle University, I have taught a required course of Economics for the MPA program since 2009. Since 2008, I have proudly chaired the Board of Directors for Seattle Education Access, a local, values-based nonprofit that supports low-income/homeless young people to make successful transitions to post-secondary education. While on the Seattle Families and Education Levy Planning Committee, I fought for increased funding for college-readiness programs in middle and high schools and currently serve on its Levy Oversight Committee. I am seeking appointment in order to be an advocate in Olympia for equitable access to education for marginalized communities, services that support strong families, transportation funding that supports a strong economy, and a more equitable tax structure.

Scott Forbes

An Illinois native, I have played several roles in the 43rd Legislative District since moving here in 2007. In 2008, that included becoming a PCO, serving as an area caucus coordinator, and a delegate to the State Convention. In 2009, I was elected Secretary of the 43rd District Democrats, Vice Chair for PCO Recruitment in 2010, and Chair in 2011 and again this year. I have served on the board of the Montlake Neighborhood Council, and am a member of Equal Rights Washington, the Transportation Choices Coalition, and the ACLU. If appointed to serve, I will be a strong and effective advocate for higher education, funding of public transit, the fight against climate change, and social justice needs in Washington – passing the DREAM Act, the Reproductive Parity Act, raising the minimum wage statewide, and reformations to Washington’s regressive tax structure.

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