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 6 and District 7 races:
District 6 (Northwest Seattle)
There are 13 candidates running in District 6, which includes Ballard, Fremont, Green Lake, Greenwood and Phinney Ridge. The seat is open because Councilmember Mike O’Brien is leaving City Hall at the end of the year.
The race is packed with interesting candidates, including a handful who have raised significant amounts of money and garnered institutional support.
Jay Fathi, a doctor and Fremont homeowner, is backed by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and by a number of large labor unions. Heidi Wills, a onetime councilmember voted out in 2003 and also a Fremont homeowner, is likewise endorsed by the Chamber, along with The Seattle Times editorial board (Times editorial board endorsements are produced by the opinion department, independent from the news department) and the Sierra Club’s Seattle chapter.
Dan Strauss, an aide to Councilmember Sally Bagshaw and a Ballard renter, is backed by several unions and the King County Democrats.
Fathi, 53, Wills, 51, and Strauss, 33, are the fundraising leaders in District 6, followed by Seattle police officer Sergio Garcia, who’s endorsed by a number of Ballard small businesses. Fuse Washington’s Progressive Voters Guide recommends Fathi and Strauss, “with a lean toward Fathi.”
Ed Pottharst, a 62-year-old Ballard homeowner, is a Seattle Parks and Recreation planner who once served as Phinney Neighborhood Association board president.
Also a Ballard homeowner, 61-year-old Jon Lisbin is the president of the Seattle Fair Growth advocacy group, while 61-year-old PhinneyWood homeowner Kate Martin is a past president of the Greenwood Community Council who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2013.
Kara Ceriello, 60, a Loyal Heights homeowner, is a former president and director of the Wallingford Chamber of Commerce. Melissa Hall, 42, is a self-employed attorney and land-use expert who rents in Fremont, and Terry Rice, 30, is managing director of a food-tour company and rents in Crown Hill.
Jeremy Cook is a 38-year-old North Ballard renter and graphic designer. Joey Massa is a 28-year-old Ballard boat resident and Washington Army National Guard veteran, and John Peeples is a 47-year-old Green Lake renter and Boeing engineer.
Asked whether Seattle has enough tax revenue to address homelessness, Wills and Cook replied, “yes.” Fathi, Pottharst, Lisbin, Ceriello, Hall and Rice replied “no.” Garcia replied, “yes and maybe,” Strauss, Massa and Martin replied “maybe,” and Peeples didn’t answer.
They also answered differently when asked whether Seattle should be building a First Avenue streetcar line. Strauss, Pottharst, Fathi and Hall said, “Yes.” Cook, Massa, Lisbin, Ceriello, Martin and Garcia said, “no.” Wills and Rice said, “maybe,” and Peeples didn’t answer.
District 7 (Northwest Seattle)
There are 10 candidates running to replace outgoing Councilmember Sally Bagshaw in District 7, which encompasses downtown Seattle, South Lake Union, Queen Anne and Magnolia.
Assistant City Attorney Andrew Lewis, former interim Police Chief Jim Pugel and real-estate project manager Michael George have locked up institutional endorsements, with Lewis and Pugel raising the most money.
Daniela Eng, who runs a small business, Jason Williams, a Microsoft product marketer, and James Donaldson, a former pro basketball player, all hail from Magnolia, while Don Harper has long dealt with parks for the Queen Anne Community Council.
Eng, 31, is concerned about homeless camping and littered drug needles, Williams, 31 says the city is spending too much on administration, and Donaldson, 62, says more should be done to help older people and people with disabilities. Harper, 67, says parking should be required in new buildings.
Gene Burrus, 55, is an attorney battling against a tax on downtown property owners for a new waterfront park and promenade, and Isabelle Kerner, 23, is an artist with a Lego model of a plan to shelter homeless people in stackable shipping containers. U.S. Navy Reserve intelligence officer and author Naveed Jamali, 42, jumped into the race very early but is no longer actively campaigning.
In a district that sprawls from rough-and-tumble Pioneer Square to exclusive Magnolia Bluff, Lewis is the progressive contender. The 29-year-old lower Queen Anne renter endorsed by the King County Democrats, the Martin Luther King County Labor Council and various politicians, plus former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich.
Pugel could appeal to voters looking for a law-enforcement expert with experience working on thorny urban issues, though some may remember controversy in 2013 over his early career role in a department-sponsored video that mocked homeless people. The 60-year-old Queen Anne homeowner is endorsed by the Chamber, The Seattle Times editorial board (Times editorial board endorsements are produced by the opinion department, independent from the news department), some unions and local leaders like criminal-justice reformer Lisa Daugaard and King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg.
He may, however, split votes with George, who works on transportation and housing project and who volunteers as an advocate for downtown residents with kids. The 40-year-old homeowner is also endorsed by the Chamber, the Sierra Club’s Seattle chapter and Speak Out Seattle, a group that’s opposed looser homeless camping rules and safe drug-consumption sites.
Lewis and George say Seattle should allow duplexes and triplexes on more blocks, with Pugel a maybe. Pugel and George oppose the city requiring owners of backyard cottages to live on site, while Lewis is unsure. Lewis says Seattle would benefit from a safe drug consumption site. Pugel and George disagree.
Asked who they supported for mayor in 2017, every candidate other than Donaldson, Kerner and Jamali named Jenny Durkan. Donaldson said he backed Cary Moon. Kerner said she was dealing with other issues during that time. Jamali didn’t answer.
Unite Here Local 8, which represents unionized hotel workers, has reported independently spending nearly $150,000 to support Lewis.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the candidate The Seattle Times editorial board endorsed in District 7. The board endorsed Jim Pugel.