Jamie Pedersen

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Jamie Pedersen
Member of the Washington Senate
from the 43rd district
Assumed office
January 2014
Preceded byEd Murray
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 43rd district
In office
January 2007 – December 2013
Preceded byEd Murray
Succeeded byBrady Walkinshaw
Personal details
Born (1968-09-09) September 9, 1968 (age 50)
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Eric Cochran Pedersen
ResidenceSeattle, Washington
Alma materYale University (B.A.)
Yale University (J.D.)

Jamie Pedersen (born September 9, 1968) is an American lawyer and politician from the state of Washington who has served as a member of the Washington State Legislature since January 2007. He currently represents the 43rd District in the Washington State Senate.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Pedersen grew up in Puyallup, Washington and attended Puyallup High School. He graduated summa cum laude in American Studies from Yale and received his law degree from Yale Law School. Pedersen was an active member of the Yale Russian Chorus while an undergraduate and law student, and remains active in the alumni of the Yale Russian Chorus. He clerked for Judge Stephen Williams on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.


Law practice[edit]

Pedersen joined Preston Gates & Ellis in 1995, working on corporate mergers.[2] His pro bono work during this time focused on gay rights issues and he was Lambda Legal's lead attorney on the state's same-sex marriage case – Andersen v. King County. In 2012 he was hired by McKinstry, a Seattle-headquartered construction firm, as General Counsel.[3]

Washington State Legislature[edit]

Pedersen was elected to the Washington House of Representatives from Washington's 43rd legislative district in downtown Seattle in 2006. He won a very competitive six-way Democratic primary election on September 19, 2006 with 23-percent of the vote. His nearest competitor, former Seattle City Council President Jim Street, was only 229 votes behind with 22-percent. The race was the most expensive House contest in Washington state history, with the six Democratic candidates raising almost $500,000 among them. His election campaign won the support of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which provided financial and strategic assistance. In the general election, he faced only nominal Republican opposition, defeating his opponent by a margin of more than four-to-one. He was re-elected unopposed in 2008,[4] 2010[5] and 2012.[6]

Pedersen was one of a number of Washington legislators who were briefly the subject of controversy in 2013 over expense claims uncovered in an Associated Press investigation. Pedersen had used $384 in tax funds to purchase art for his office; Pedersen explained that legislators receive an allowance for furnishing their offices and he had, typically, not used his entire allotment.[7]

Political positions[edit]

Pedersen has been a supporter of increased firearms regulation in Washington. In 2013 he introduced legislation that would require private gun dealers to request a background check from a local law-enforcement agency.[8]

In the legislature, Pedersen has been a key proponent for the replacement of the Evergreen Point floating bridge and has introduced legislation to block the state's department of transportation from capping spending on the project.[9]

In 2012 Pedersen publicly endorsed both Washington Initiative 502 and Washington Referendum 74, which legalized the retail sale of marijuana and same-sex marriage, respectively.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Pedersen is openly gay and is one of seven LGBT members of the Washington State Legislature, alongside Sen. Marko Liias (D–Mukilteo) and Reps. Jim Moeller (D–Vancouver), Nicole Macri (D–Seattle), Christine Kilduff (D–University Place), Joan McBride (D–Kirkland) and Laurie Jinkins (D–Tacoma).

Pedersen is married to Eric Cochran Pedersen, a high-school assistant principal[11] whom he met in 2004 while attending Seattle's Central Lutheran Church.[12] Pedersen and his husband have four sons: Trygve Cochran Pedersen and a set of triplets - Leif, Anders, and Erik - born in early 2009.[13] The children were all given traditional Norwegian names by Pedersen who is ethnically Norwegian.


  1. ^ "Democrats Choose Rep. Jaime Pedersen To Replace Sen. Ed Murray". KUOW-FM, December 3, 2013.
  2. ^ Brunner, Jim (14 September 2006). "District 43's Democratic hopefuls are 6 of a kind". Seattle Times. Seattle. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Leaders". McKinstry. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  4. ^ "November 4, 2008 General Election". King County Elections. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  5. ^ "November 2, 2010 General Election". King County Elections. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  6. ^ "November 6, 2012 General Legislative District 43 : Rep Position 1". King County Elections. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  7. ^ "Tax dollars go to dry cleaning, arts for state lawmakers". KOMO News. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  8. ^ Rosenthal, Brian (13 January 2013). "Lawmakers introduce bill to require background checks for all gun sales". Seattle Times. Seattle. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  9. ^ Feit, Josh (24 February 2012). "Compromise 520 Bill Passes House Transpo Committee". Seattle Metropolitan. Seattle. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  10. ^ "Sen. Chase, Rep. Ryu Endorse I-502, Marijuana Legalization Initiative". Shoreline Patch. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  11. ^ "Rep. Jamie Pedersen". Washington House Democrats. Archived from the original on 2007-11-10. Retrieved 2007-11-30.
  12. ^ Sanders, Eli (19 November 2013). "Boring, Traditional, Religious Marriage". The Stranger. Seattle. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  13. ^ "Two Men having a Baby". Seattle Gay News. Archived from the original on 2008-08-30. Retrieved 2008-08-18.

External links[edit]