Gay Rights Champ Pedersen Wins Key Seattle House Race

Pedersen_1Jamie Pedersen, an openly gay man and fierce champion of gay rights, won a six-way race in what Seattle’s The Stranger called a “politically rambunctious 43rd Legislative District” to position himself as the likely candidate to fill the house seat representing the liberal Seattle constituency.

According to the Post Intelligencer, “Pedersen is heavily favored in November over Republican Hugh Foskett, a college student who has raised no money, and Progressive Party candidate Linde Knighton, who is running a shoestring campaign.”

The Stranger reported that gay rights was certainly a factor in Pedersen’s victory: “One Pedersen volunteer who is close friends with several of the candidates, said, when asked if Pedersen’s homosexuality was a factor, ‘Absolutely. It’s not tangential to who he is. It’s central.'”

Pedersen’s Night [the stranger]
Street concedes to Pedersen in 43rd District race [seattle times]


  1. Scott A says

    It’s central is it? I don’t know that I’d vote for someone who is seen as extreme in any areas, even ones I’m more inclined to favor. I prefer moderation, and contemplative thought. I’m not saying he doesn’t have them but, if he’s so immersed in his own way of life then, as a political figure, how can he even attempt to represent his constituency objectively? I guess I think there is a fine line between knowing who you are as an individual and letting it posess you. Be you, not homosexuality; maybe it’s a welcomed part of you, but don’t let it over shadow everything else you are.

  2. John T says

    So since Pedersen is passionate about gay politics, then he can’t represent his constituency “objectively”? (whatever that means) Someone is quoted saying that his sexuality is central to who he is, and then you insinuate that he is “possessed” by it… what, like a demon that must be cast out? Can conventionally heterosexual people be good at government, or only asexual or celibate people? Should the candidate have just stayed home instead watching porn? Jeez.

  3. Becks07 says

    I actually live in Seattle and in the 43rd District (if I’d known there was a 6-way going on, I might have been more interested in politics earlier in life…) Ahem. I digress.

    Anyhew…my take on Pedersen (and I did vote for him) is that he’s much more broadly focused than just where his weiner goes. Yes, he is out and proud and that’s a nice thing. But he is also a successful businessperson and lawyer and when he came to my door campaigning we discussed two things:

    1) The need to fix the crappy sand soccer fields here and put up more fences so people aren’t chasing balls into the street and,

    2) The need for true, national gay leaders on the order of MLK’s role in the African-American drive for civil rights.

    As to the former, he must have thought I was nuts (when it comes to footy, I guess I am) and as to the latter, he cannot become that kind of leader unless he gets elected so I put some faith and hope that a smart, committed guy like Jamie could make something national of himself someday and voted for the guy.

    I dare anyone to tell me we have effective, compelling and visionary national gay leaders. Of course, that could be because the second anyone raises their head above to parapet to try and become one of those leaders, our charming “community” (cough, ack, cough…) tears them to shreds for some perceived fault.

    What a laugh riot.


  4. Scott A says

    @John T

    No, i don’t think there anything wrong with being passionate about gay politics. According to Oxford — Objectively: 1) not influenced by personal feelings and opinions in considering and representing the facts.

    I did insinuate he was possesed didn’t I? I’m sorry about that; hopefully he’s gotten as far as he has because he’s been shrewd and multifaceted. It was really second-handed or even third-hand information i suppose. But yea, about conventions, or conventional people, it’s a relative statement. You could make it about anything or idea I think… The important thing I think is knowing where to stop and make a judgement/vote for a candidate. I kept moving when the “charismatic” Howard Dean gave a few examples of his leadership, god bless him though…

    Interesting thought though… having truly asexual people represent us in government… er…what about just having a tank of manatees with idea balls like in that SP episode?? Heh.. score one for you though, I agree, I was insinuating earlier, sorry bout that.

  5. Joe D. says

    Electing openly gay people like this guy is just plain smart politics for the gay community. And it’s not because we expect them to perform like gay circus animals, proposing only gay-related legislation and screaming on the floor of the legislature. It’s because it’s smart strategy to show straight people that gay people have the same goals as them 99% of the time…safe streets, clean environment and yes, a measure of privacy in their personal lives.

  6. sam says

    Saying that being gay is central to who he is does not necessarily mean that it possesses him or casts a shadow over everything else. I interpret those comments to mean that being gay effects his outlook on life, his opinions, and gives him an ability to be empathatic to other minorities. Growing up gay in America has certainly had a profound effect on who I am and I believe it’s a gift.

  7. AnonFromSeattle says

    Like DB above, I live in Pedersen’s district in Seattle and supported him in the primary for exactly the same reason: we need politicians who can credibly represent gay interests at the national level. I have to assume that Pedersen has national ambitions, and if anyone can get there, he can. He is squeaky clean, a church leader, a former boy scout, Yale educated, and a person of considerable personal integrity. There are segments of the gay community here that view him with a certain distrust, that he is not “authentically gay” enough, doesn’t hang out in gay bars, has politics that are merely liberal rather than of the far left. But it is precisely those qualities that make him a rising star, potentially viable at the national level.

  8. AlsoSeattle says

    Another gay Seattle person weighing in here – One interesting side note is that The Stranger weekly newsmagazine (extremely pro-gay and edited by Dan Savage) endorsed an opponent of Pedersen’s – Stephanie Pure. Apparently it’s due to a long-standing semi-feud between Pedersen and Savage (who is notoriously thin-skinned).

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