The Metropolitan King County Council has appointed longtime local Democratic leader Javier Valdez as a state representative from the 46th District of North Seattle.
The Metropolitan King County Council on Monday appointed longtime local Democratic Party leader Javier Valdez as state representative for North Seattle’s 46th Legislative District.
Valdez, 46, will replace Jessyn Farrell, who resigned to focus on her campaign for Seattle mayor. He’ll complete the remainder of Farrell’s term through 2018.
A longtime behind-the-scenes mover in local Democratic politics, Valdez was founding chair of the King County Young Democrats and has been a member of the state Democratic Party’s executive board since 2003.
He has worked for the city of Seattle for more than 20 years, mostly for Seattle City Light and now as an aide to Mayor Ed Murray.
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In his city job, Valdez has led efforts to aid women and minority-owned businesses, and he said one of his goals in the Legislature will be to repeal Initiative 200.
That measure, approved by voters in 1998, banned government affirmative-action programs based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.
King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski said Valdez, who grew up as a son of immigrants in Moses Lake, “represents the very best of why people come to our country.”
Following the process laid out in the state Constitution, the council had a choice of appointing one of three candidates recommended by the local Democratic Party organizations.
Valdez was the top pick of those groups.
The other two choices were Nigel Herbig, a Kenmore City Councilmember and legislative aide to Farrell, and Melissa Taylor, a former software engineer who cofounded a group that trains Democratic women to run for office.