Make that potentially five Seattle elected officials who may be leaving the City Council.

Teresa Mosqueda, one of two at-large council members, will seek a vacant position on the Metropolitan King County Council in November, she told The Seattle Times on Wednesday, though her current position is not up for reelection until 2025. Mosqueda, a progressive, is eyeing the seat being vacated by longtime County Councilmember Joe McDermott, who represents the county’s District 8, which includes West Seattle, parts of South Seattle, Tukwila, and Vashon and Maury islands.

If Mosqueda were to win at the county level, it would mean five members of the City Council would be leaving, as four have already said or indicated in recent weeks they are not running again: they are Lisa Herbold (District 1), Kshama Sawant (District 3), Alex Pederson (District 4), and Council President Debora Juarez (District 5).

Local Politics | Seattle City Council 2023

Only two council members, Tammy Morales of District 2 and Andrew Lewis of District 7, have announced that they will run again.

Of the nine total council seats, there are seven district seats up for election in November, as current terms expire on Dec. 31. The two citywide council positions, along with the mayoral seat, are up for election in 2025.


With nearly three years left in her term as a citywide council member, Mosqueda says she is driven by the “pull” of the county job, rather than a sense of being “pushed” from city politics.

“I would definitely want to stay at the city if this election is not successful,” Mosqueda said.

Mosqueda said she is drawn to working in public and behavioral health — which are under the purview of King County, not the city — and to continue her work on issues she has pursued in Seattle, such as affordable housing and providing more resources for working families, including expanding public transportation. 

“Housing instability is not a problem that stops at Seattle’s borders,” Mosqueda said. “And I’d look forward to the opportunity to work with regional partners on regional solutions to these same issues.”

In her time on the City Council, Mosqueda has led many of the city’s most progressive policies. Most notably, Mosqueda championed JumpStart, a controversial but lucrative payroll tax passed in 2020, which requires employers with at least $7 million in annual payroll to pay between 0.7% and 2.4% on salaries and wages paid to Seattle employees who make at least $150,000 per year.

Mosqueda suggested a change in city elections could prevent such high turnover in the future. 

The two citywide council positions and the mayor’s seat are now up for election every four years, while the seven district positions also are placed on the ballot every four years, but halfway through the mayoral term.

Mosqueda suggested that the city could divide the citywide and district positions between the two election cycles, reducing the maximum number of council terms expiring in a single year.