Forty-four people have applied to temporarily fill the Seattle City Council seat vacated this month by Sally Clark.
The period for applications to temporarily fill former Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark’s vacant seat closed Tuesday at 5 p.m.
The council — which will appoint an individual to pinch-hit for Clark until the end of 2015, when a newly elected person will take over — has received 44 applications. It began accepting applications on April 3.
The list of hopefuls features three former council members — Peter Steinbrueck, Heidi Wills and Jan Drago; several veteran government executives; and a number of plugged-in businesspeople, such as Howard Wright, chairman of the Seattle Hospitality Group and co-owner of the Space Needle.
David Yeaworth previously worked as an aide to Clark and former Councilmember Richard Conlin, and Noel Frame is a younger applicant with serious political chops.
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The list also includes some less obvious candidates, like Sarah Morningstar, an assistant principal at Franklin High School; Donovan Rivers, a King County Metro Transit bus inspector; and Daniel Casaletto, a male model and owner of a promotions company which, he wrote in his cover letter, “can even cater a kashrut bar mitzva (sic).”
Clark announced April 2 that she would be leaving the council to join the University of Washington as its director of regional and community relations. She officially resigned on April 12.
All nine of the council’s seats are up for election this year. Clark initially registered a campaign for Position 9, one of two citywide seats as the council this year moves to geographic representation for its other seven seats. She ended her campaign in February.
The council plans to hold an executive session Friday morning to discuss the qualifications of the people who have applied for the spot.
It then plans to select a short list of finalists or a single finalist at its April 20 full council meeting.
The finalists or finalist will present to the council, and the public will be allowed to comment, at a special meeting on April 24.
Finally, the council plans to make its appointment on April 27 by majority vote.
Four people have registered campaigns for Position 9, and if the council were to appoint a candidate, that person would gain a leg up in the race for a real term.
But on April 2, council President Tim Burgess said, “I believe we should appoint an experienced ‘caretaker’ who pledges not to seek election to the council this year.”
The last time the council appointed someone to temporarily fill a seat because of a resignation was in 2006, when Clark was picked to replace Jim Compton. She went on to win election later the same year.
In that instance, about 100 people applied, flooding City Hall with résumés.
The names of the 44 current hopefuls and their applications can be viewed here.
Likely front-runners include Steinbrueck and Drago, along with John Okamoto, who recently headed the Seattle Human Resources Department, and David Moseley, who led the Washington State Ferries system from 2008 to 2014.
Wills was voted out of office in 2003 shortly after agreeing to pay a $1,500 fine for failing to disclose an improper meeting she had with proponents of a zoning change at a strip club.
Drago may have an inside track because she was appointed to a temporary term on the Metropolitan King County Council in 2010, said political consultant Jason Bennett.
Cathy Allen, another political consultant, called the group of applicants “dynamic.” Many work in housing, Allen noted, such as Sharon Lee, executive director of the nonprofit Low Income Housing Institute.
Mayor Ed Murray has a blue-ribbon panel on housing affordability scheduled to issue recommendations next month, and Clark was chairing the council’s housing committee when she resigned.
“That’s why I’m a good fit,” said Yeaworth, who staffed the committee before leaving City Hall about a year ago. “I could pick up the ball where it is and keep moving.”
Information in this article, originally published April 14, 2015, was corrected April 15, 2015. A previous version misspelled Heidi Wills’ name.