Fourth Openly Gay Man Appointed To Washington House

Brady Wilkinshaw

After Ed Murray was elected to mayor of Seattle last month, his position in the 43rd Legislative District state Senate was left vacant. State representative Jamie Pedersen ran for the seat more or less unopposed and as a result his seat in the state House has been filled by Cuban-American and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation officer Brady Walkinshaw.

Wilkinshaw is now the fourth openly gay man in a row to be elected to the state House, with Pedersen before him being openly gay, as well as Pedersen's predecessors Ed Murray and Cal Anderson. On Wilkinshaw's platform were the advancement of gay rights as well as passing the Voting Rights Act, which failed the last time it was in Olympia. During the Q&A he noted that Yakima's seven-member citywide council did not have a single Latino representative despite Latinos comprising over 40% of the population, suggesting that Wilkinshaw could help usher in more cultural diversity among Seattle's lawmakers.


  1. Gregory in Seattle says

    He is the fourth gay man in a row to be elected to Seat 1 for the 43rd Legislative District in the Washington State House. Your write-up makes is sound as if there have only been four gay people ever elected to the State House, which is patently false.

  2. Seattle Mike says

    This is some sloppy reporting. His full name is Brady Pinero Walkinshaw, which he uses to proudly display his Cuban heritage. And he hasn’t been elected yet – he was appointed. And as pointed out, he’s the fourth gay man in a row to hold this particular seat in this legislative district. There are several gay people from other districts that have won election in Washington State.

  3. Craig S says

    Merv, surnames don’t necessarily tell you everything there is to know about a person’s ethnicity.

    For one thing, funnily enough, people have mothers too. And that’s not even the only way a person can end up with a surname that isn’t typical of their ethnic ancestry; a man who emigrated from Scotland to Cuba could end up handing down his surname to people whose ethnic makeup would be mostly Cuban too. Just ask anyone named “O’Higgins” in Chile, or “Johnson” in Quebec.

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