8:10 PM: In the race to see who will take the State Senate seat from which 34th District Sen. Sharon Nelson (D-Maury Island) is retiring, the first results are in:
Joe Nguyen – 27,440 – 57.4%
Shannon Braddock – 20,373 – 42.6%
8:17 PM: Nguyen has already spoken to his jubilant supporters at Drunky’s Two Shoes in White Center; we’ll add the video when we return to HQ. (ADDED– Here’s his reaction right after the results went public:)
9:24 PM: Braddock’s campaign tells us she will have a statement later.
Nguyen’s presumed victory makes history – he will be the state’s first Vietnamese-American legislator and the 34th District’s first legislator of color. He is the son of refugees, born in White Center, raised in Burien, now living in West Seattle, a manager at Microsoft, father of two, husband of a Highline Public Schools teacher. Personal backgrounds were the main differentiating factors between Nguyen and Braddock in the campaign; on the issues, they were nearly identical, both self-described progressive Democrats.
ADDED WEDNESDAY MIDDAY: This statement from Braddock was sent to an e-mail list of supporters and media:
There’s a common saying that you have to ask a woman seven times before she’ll seriously consider running for office. In my experience, it couldn’t be truer. Growing up I was keenly aware that most elected officials were men, and their support staff were women.
When I was asked to run for the State Senate I knew the sacrifices it would mean for me and my family as a single working mom. It had to be a family discussion. When I asked my two sons what they thought they said “sure.” But when I asked my eleven-year old daughter Kate if I should run she became giddy — jumping up and down clapping her hands. Ever since I announced she’s been talking about how she would like to run for office someday too. These are the types of examples we can set for our young girls when we run.
So thank you.
Thank you for knocking on doors, donating, and calling voters in support of our vision of a better Washington. And lastly, thank you for believing in me. We left it all on the field and, in spite of the outcome, I believe we ran an amazing campaign.
While we may have lost this race, last night was still a decisive win for women’s representation across our country.
We saw a record number of women run for office and get elected this year — including 256 women running for Congress in the General Election and countless more in local elections like ours. While I may not have had many women role models in elected leadership when I was growing up, I’m beyond thankful my daughter will. I wish Joe Nguyen the best as he steps into service for the 34th District as our State Senator.