More than 50 candidates are competing for the Seattle City Council’s seven district seats this summer, and ballots are out this week.
Primary-election day is Aug. 6, and only two candidates from each district will advance to the Nov. 5 general election.
Here’s a quick look at the District 1 and District 2 races:
District 1 (West Seattle, South Park)
There are only three candidates in District 1, making the race the city’s smallest.
Lisa Herbold is the incumbent, seeking reelection to a second term. Philip Tavel, who ran unsuccessfully in District 1 in 2015, is an attorney and former public defender who volunteers with neighborhood organizations. Brendan Kolding is a former police lieutenant who ran unsuccessfully for a state House seat in 2016.
Herbold, who worked as a council aide under Nick Licata, has sought to strengthen renter and worker rights while raising questions about the city’s bike-share system and the First Avenue streetcar project. The Highland Park homeowner focused more on district issues than some of her colleagues.
She pushed a per-employee tax on large businesses to address homelessness that the council passed and then repealed last year under pressure from some companies and voters.
Herbold, 52, is endorsed by Democratic Party groups, labor unions and politicians such as U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal and citywide Councilmember M. Lorena González.
Tavel says council solutions to Seattle’s problems have been ineffective and says City Hall is spending too much money on social-services providers that don’t deliver.
The 48-year-old Arbor Heights renter says recent zoning changes to allow more density in urban villages should be revisited and the city’s soda tax should be repealed.
Tavel is backed by hotel, technology-company, realtor and restaurant-industry groups, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and The Seattle Times editorial board (Times editorial board endorsements are produced by the opinion department, independent from the news department).
Kolding also says Seattle is spending too much money on “an ineffective approach” to homelessness. The 36-year-old West Seattle homeowner says the city should enact a new policy requiring developers to include adequate parking in all new buildings.
The police department’s internal investigations unit recommended he be fired after a probe determined he lied about his alleged mistreatment of another officer. Before the results went to the police chief for an ultimate decision, Kolding resigned.
The candidate, who’s vowed to combat a council “culture of hostility” toward the police, denies the allegations and attributed them to retaliation by department brass.
The District 1 candidates agree the city needs a larger police force, a light-rail tunnel to West Seattle and no downtown street tolls. Only Herbold says large businesses pay too little in taxes and contends the city could benefit from rent control.
The incumbent is interested in moving residential garbage collection to every other week as a way to advance environmental goals. Tavel opposes the idea.
Herbold has raised the most money and has the most donors, followed by Kolding and then Tavel. All are using the city’s democracy vouchers program. The Chamber’s political-action committee is independently spending to back Tavel.
District 2 (Southeast Seattle, Georgetown)
There are seven candidates in District 2, which runs from the Chinatown International District and Mount Baker all the way down to Rainier Beach.
Tammy Morales, a community organizer with the Rainier Beach Action Coalition, nearly unseated outgoing Councilmember Bruce Harrell in 2015. The Lakewood homeowner has been endorsed by the 37th Legislative District Democrats, service-worker and other unions and a number of politicians, including state Sen. Rebecca Saldaña.
Mark Solomon lives in the house his grandmother built on Beacon Hill and has worked with District 2 residents for years as a Seattle Police Department crime-prevention coordinator, while Phyllis Porter, a Columbia City renter, has worked and volunteered as an educator, emergency medical technician and safe-streets advocate.
Solomon, 59, has been endorsed by the union that represents city-employed office workers, multiple Democratic state senators, former mayors Norm Rice and Charley Royer, the Chamber of Commerce and The Seattle Times editorial board. Porter, 54, has been endorsed by the King County Young Democrats, who’ve also backed Morales.
Chris Peguero is a Beacon Hill homeowner and Seattle City Light environmental-equity program manager who’s worked on the city’s Race and Social Justice Initiative, and Ari Hoffman is a Seward Park homeowner and small-business owner who’s volunteered with teens and been active in his religious community.
Henry Clay Dennison, 63, is a Socialist Workers Party candidate and a railroad worker, while Omari Tahir-Garrett, 73, is perennial candidate best known for his occupation of the former Colman School and for striking then-Mayor Paul Schell with a bullhorn.
Morales, 50, and Peguero, 44, lean more to the left. They say Seattle needs more tax revenue to address homelessness, large businesses should pay more and the city could benefit from rent control but not more police. Solomon, Porter and the more conservative Hoffman, 38, lean less that way on most issues, to varying degrees.
Morales wants to require more race- and social-justice training for city executives, Peguero wants to adopt a Green New Deal for Seattle, Solomon would seek to boost funding for street hygiene centers, Porter would try to address on camping in parks and Hoffman would try to crack down on people sleeping in vehicles.
Asked who they supported in the 2017 mayoral election, Morales declined to answer. Peguero said he backed Nikkita Oliver and Solomon named Jenny Durkan. Porter said she wasn’t living in Seattle at the time, and Hoffman replied, “none.” Dennison and Tahir-Garrett didn’t answer and Tahir-Garrett didn’t provide a photo.
Hoffman has raised the most money, followed by Morales, who’s using democracy vouchers. The Chamber’s political-action committee is independently spending to back Solomon.