SEATTLE -- Thirty-year-old Sarah Smith and a team of volunteers are hitting the pavement, knocking on door after door to spread the word: She's running for Congress and taking on 11-term Democratic incumbent Adam Smith in the primaries.
"I had to struggle to overcome this thought in my head of: I'm not from a political dynasty; I'm not supposed to go into politics; I'm working class; I haven't gone up the ladder; I haven't done it the right way; I haven't asked for permission," Sarah Smith said. "I had to really get out of that mindset because at the end of the day, we don't need to ask for permission to run to represent our neighbors."
Sarah Smith is a candidate under Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats, the same slates that supported New York's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who just dealt a crushing defeat to 10-term Democratic Congressman Joe Crowley.
"I cried when she got elected. I'm a sucker," Sarah Smith said.
Both women are part of a push to elect progressives aligned with Sen. Bernie Sanders. In a state that caucused strong for Sanders in 2016, Sarah Smith's platform is gaining ground.
"I am for single-payer medicare for all; I am for debt-free education; I am for abolishing (Immigration and Customs Enforcement); I am for investing in our infrastructure; and I am for getting us out of, what is it, nine to 11 different military occupations we're in?"
Her opponent is on the House Armed Services Committee. Congressman Adam Smith has a long history in the 9th Congressional District. So who is Sarah Smith?
"I work full time," Sarah Smith said. "I manage a mechanic garage. I have student debt. I have a husband. I can't afford to have a kid. I'm every person in this district."
This political novice is putting the Democratic establishment on notice. The full-fledged progressive told Q13 News Correspondent Simone Del Rosario that compromise is a last resort.
"If you are elected to Congress you are not just representing the progressives in District 9, you will be representing everybody who lives in District 9. Are you prepared to do that?" Del Rosario asked.
"Absolutely I am," she replied. "I recognize that my platform is going to get me elected, so I want to commit to my platform as much as possible and as strongly as possible, because if I get elected it's because of my values and it's because of what I stand up for."
That's what she hopes to take to Congress.
Rep. Adam Smith has served in Congress for 22 years. Q13 News spoke to him over the phone to talk about the progressive movement, his opponent and the upcoming primary.
"For me, this is not about a national movement," Rep. Adam Smith said. "This is about the people who live around Sea-Tac Airport who deal with the noise problems. This is about helping the very large immigrant community that I have with immigration issues. This is about helping the education system in the city of Seattle and south King County.
"I've lived my entire life in the district; raised my children here; sent them to public schools in the district; and I have a very, very strong connection to the people there and I have been very, very effective in being their voice in Congress."