There are seven seats on the Seattle City Council that are up for grabs this year. At least 56 people have said they’re running for one of them.
Bellevue has four City Council seats up for grabs. Four Metropolitan King County Council seats are up for election. There are two Court of Appeals seats available in King County this year and 10 King County Superior Court seats. There are seats available on the city and town councils in 38 separate municipalities in King County and on 20 different school boards. The job of mayor in nine different cities is available.
Do you want to run for any of these positions — a few of which are full-time, but most of which are part-time? Does your mom? Or your brother? Or your neighbor? Or your friend?
If so, you must file to run for office this week with King County Elections.
The county’s elections department is expecting a record number of people to mount campaigns for local office in 2019. They’re predicting more than 700 candidates will run for the 337 seats that will be awarded in the November elections. More than 100 people attended workshops on how to run for office that the elections department put on earlier this year.
Kendall Hodson, chief of staff for King County Elections, said that the energetic political climate and a high number of seats without incumbents factor into their forecast.
The current record for candidates in King County was set in 2017, when 634 people ran for local office.
“We expect a record-breaking number of candidates to file for office, which is great news for our region and democracy,” Julie Wise, director of King County Elections, said in a prepared statement. “People are more engaged in their government and their community when they see candidates who represent them.”
Statewide, more than 3,400 seats are open in 2019, including two legislative seats and 27 spots in the judiciary, according to Secretary of State Kim Wyman.
Candidates can file online, 24 hours a day, starting at 9 a.m. Monday until 4 p.m. Friday. Candidates can file in person at King County Elections Department headquarters in Renton or by mailing their filing to the elections department. All filings must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 17. An online list of who has filed to run will be updated at least twice a day this week.
Wise herself is up for reelection. So is King County Assessor John Wilson.
Those two seats, the only nonjudicial countywide offices on the ballot, are also the priciest. It’ll cost you a $1,891.22 filing fee to get on the primary ballot if you want to run for elections director or assessor. Different seats have different fees, based largely on the position’s salary, although you’ve also got the option of submitting signed petitions, in lieu of paying the filing fee.
The filing fee for Seattle City Council is $1,233.59. Kent City Council (four seats up this year) will cost you $155.64. Enumclaw City Council (three seats up) will cost you $39. Want to run for mayor of Clyde Hill? $12 filing fee.
There are 24 seats open on King County Fire Protection Districts. There’s no filing fee for any of those or any of the 100 or so special-purpose water, fire, sewer and park district seats that are open.