Congressman Smith faces five challengers for 9th District seat

District spans from Bellevue and south Seattle down through Renton, Tukwila, Kent, Federal Way and Tacoma.

Clockwise from top left, Adam Smith, Doug Basler, Stephanie Gallardo, Seth D. Pedersen, David Michael Anderson and Sea M. Chan. Courtesy of King County Elections

Clockwise from top left, Adam Smith, Doug Basler, Stephanie Gallardo, Seth D. Pedersen, David Michael Anderson and Sea M. Chan. Courtesy of King County Elections

Adam Smith, who has served as the U.S. Representative in the Washington 9th Congressional District since 1997, will run for re-election against five other candidates in the Aug. 2 primary.

The top two candidates from the primary will vie for the two-year term in the general election on Nov. 8.

The district, which includes Mercer Island, spans from Bellevue and south Seattle down through Renton, Tukwila, Kent, Federal Way and Tacoma. King County Elections (KCE) mailed primary ballots to registered voters on July 13, and a drop box was scheduled to open the following day at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center, 8236 SE 24th St. Ballots must be postmarked by Aug. 2 or placed in the drop box by 8 p.m. that evening.

• Incumbent Smith (D), a Renton resident, defeated candidate Doug Basler (R) for the third time in 2020.

In his candidate statement on the KCE website, Smith, a former prosecutor for the city of Seattle and attorney, praised the diverse and hard-working district where he grew up.

“As our nation faces unprecedented challenges, I am focused on strengthening the middle class, ensuring equality of opportunity for all, and investing in our future. We must provide a progressive path forward where everyone can thrive,” said Smith, adding that, “All people, no matter their background, should have access to quality, affordable healthcare.”

• Basler, who hails from Kent, is a former senior vice chair of the King County Republican Party and is founder of Street Church, which provides food and support for the homeless and at-risk populations.

“It’s time for bold leadership that listens to you and fights for you in Congress. It’s time for change in the 9th Congressional District. It’s time to bring back the American Dream,” Basler said in his candidate statement.

Basler said representatives are elected to maintain a safe environment for families and children, to protect the country’s borders and economy, and citizens’ constitutional rights.

“When elected, I’ll fight to protect parents’ rights, restore the dollar and slow inflation, unleash domestic energy to lower gas prices, and to protect your rights, neighborhoods, schools, and jobs,” he added.

• Independent David Michael Anderson of Seattle is a retired international consultant whose work has ranged from technology networks and IT security to consolidated accounting of international subsidiaries.

In his statement, he said his candidacy is faith driven and based on “Making America Great Again Again.”

Anderson added: “Regardless of political party, election integrity must be the expectation of every one. This candidacy demands it and will focus on the will of the people being accurately expressed.”

• Renton resident Sea M. Chan (R) is the former president of more than six different community service organizations and has spent 20-plus years researching environmental remediation, fisheries conservation, micropower, microbial fuel cells and more, according to his candidate statement.

His top priority is empowering communities, he said.

Chan’s wife is a hospital first responder who prefers the Democratic party. On running as a Republican, he noted: “No matter how we label ourselves, our family like millions of other families have been ignored and exploited by a system that has given up core values that made America strong. We have two baby girls that deserve a future where they can not only survive, but flourish and have their voices heard in a way our generation hasn’t been heard.”

• Seth D. Pedersen (R) is a Seattle resident who owns a small family business and aims to give back to the community by running for office, he said in his candidate statement.

On the ideology front, Pedersen noted that he’s a true moderate interested only in how policy affects every-day Americans.

“We need effective representatives, men and women who will actually represent our interests, stand up for all Americans, and that’s why I want to represent you,” he added. “As corporate party politics threaten to pull the nation apart, I stand ready to get to work and represent you. It’s time for us, the people who actually run this country, to take charge of our nation.”

• Seattle resident Stephanie Gallardo (D) is board director for the National Education Association and Washington Education Association, vice president of the Tukwila Education Association and a member of the Educators of Color Caucus in the Washington Education Association, according to her candidate statement.

The high school history teacher in the Tukwila School District noted: “With over a decade of teacher leadership in one of the nation’s most diverse zip codes, I have been well trained to champion the legislative priorities of the 9th Congressional District at the federal level. If elected, I will prioritize canceling federal student loan debt, universal healthcare, campaign finance reform, a Green New Deal, and fully funding our public schools, financed with a drastic cut to the bloated military budget.”


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