Herbold has represented West Seattle, Delridge and South Park as the council's District 1 representative since 2015, when Seattle held elections by geographic district for the first time in over a century.
Lisa Herbold will run for re-election to the Seattle City Council, she announced Wednesday, in a race that should give voters a chance to evaluate the council’s district system, four years after it began.
Herbold has represented West Seattle, Delridge and South Park as the District 1 representative since 2015, when Seattle held elections by geographic area for the first time in more than a century.
Like Councilmembers Debora Juarez and Kshama Sawant, who are incumbent candidates, she must persuade her constituents that she’s delivered for them in their neighborhoods.
Four other candidates have registered campaigns, including lawyer Phillip Tavel, who was knocked out in 2015’s District 1 primary. It’s been widely expected that Herbold would seek a second term.
“When I ran in 2015, it was about the district system allowing me to lend my voice to theirs and accomplish more together,” Herbold said in a phone interview, contending she’s made good “on that promise.”
With the council’s seven district seats up for grabs in 2019, three other incumbents (Bruce Harrell, Rob Johnson and Sally Bagshaw) have decided not to run again, leaving Mike O’Brien as the only sitting council member weighing his options.
Candidates have until May to file, but the races are getting crowded, with new would-be council members declaring bids at a rapid clip in recent weeks. More than 30 have signed up, citywide.
The challengers may argue City Hall needs new blood; before Herbold won election, she worked for Councilmember Nick Licata.
They also may portray the incumbent, along with her colleagues, as having struggled to combat Seattle’s homelessness crisis. Herbold was among seven council members who stirred controversy last year when they voted to adopt and then to repeal a per-employee “head tax” on large businesses to help pay for housing and services rather than risk losing a voter referendum on the measure.
Herbold says she reversed her position on the measure because the labor unions that would have bankrolled a campaign to protect the tax at the ballot “told us there was no way they could win” and the tax survive.
Foes may have more trouble knocking Herbold on neighborhood nuts and bolts. The Highland Park resident has established a constituent-services program to help with needs such as streetlights and potholes, and in her announcement Wednesday, she cited work on two dozen District 1 issues, including more bus service in West Seattle and pedestrian-safety improvements in South Park.