From 2001 through 2010, McDermott represented the 34th Legislative District in the Washington State Legislature. He served in the Washington State Senate from 2007 through 2010 after serving for seven years in the House of Representatives. Senator McDermott served as the Majority Assistant Floor Leader and advanced public education, civil rights, environmental protection, and the electoral system.
McDermott earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs and holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Gonzaga University. Joe completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Executive Education program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in June of 2009.
McDermott was a Senior Budget Analyst with the Seattle School District and worked for former Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney John Ladenburg. He has also occasionally taught history and political science courses at South Seattle Community College. As a legislator, summers often found Joe using his History degree working as a Tour Guide for Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour in Seattle’s Pioneer Square.
He lives in West Seattle with his partner Michael and has served on the Board of Southwest Youth & Family Services and the West Seattle Helpline. His civic activities and memberships include the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Vashon Allied Arts, the Highline Historical Society, and the Greater Seattle Business Association.