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 3 race:
District 3 (Central Seattle)
There are five candidates challenging incumbent Kshama Sawant in District 3, each from a unique angle. The District stretches from Capitol Hill through the Central District and from Montlake and Madison Park to First Hill.
Sawant, 46, is seeking a third term. The Leschi homeowner, endorsed by her Socialist Alternative Party, the local Democratic Socialists of America, The Stranger and a number of labor unions, has spoken out against police brutality and rallied for rent control while angering business leaders and alienating council colleagues.
Zachary DeWolf is a Seattle School Board member who works for the agency that oversees King County’s homelessness response. The Central District homeowner is endorsed by the Martin Luther King County Labor Council, the King County Democrats and City Councilmembers Teresa Mosqueda and M. Lorena González.
Egan Orion was executive director of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce until it shut down recently and has managed both PrideFest Seattle Center and PrideFest Capitol Hill. Also a Central District homeowner, he’s endorsed by 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).
Ami Nguyen is a Yesler Terrace renter who works as a public defender. She previously worked as an eviction-prevention lawyer in Los Angeles and is endorsed by the King County Democrats, the National Women’s Political Caucus, the Seattle teachers union and her own union, SEIU 925.
Logan Bowers is a former Amazon software engineer who now owns cannabis stores with his wife. A Capitol Hill renter, he’s highest rated by the Downtown Seattle Association and endorsed by the Seattle Subway transit-advocacy group.
Pat Murakami is the longtime president of a Southeast Seattle crime-prevention group and ran unsuccessfully for a citywide council seat in 2017. The Mount Baker homeowner runs an information technology business and is endorsed by the Speak Out Seattle advocacy group, which has opposed safe drug consumption sites, looser homeless camping rules and last year’s short-lived head tax.
Sawant says she’s the most consistent and unapologetic voice for working people on the council. DeWolf, 33, is telling voters he’ll provide ultra-progressive representation without Sawant’s combative attitude, while Orion, 48, is vowing to work with everyone, including large businesses.
Nguyen, 33, is pledging to govern based on her lived experience as the child of low-income refugees, Bowers, 37, is running as a pro-density urbanist and Murakami, 64, is campaigning to boost spending on first responders.
All six candidates say King County was wrong to build a new youth detention center. Orion and Murakami say Seattle needs a larger police force, while Sawant and Nguyen disagree. Bowers and DeWolf are more equivocal.
Without using Seattle’s taxpayer-funded democracy vouchers, Sawant has raised about three times more money than Bowers. He leads the rest of the pack and is using vouchers. The Chamber of Commerce is independently spending large sums to support Orion.