Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda will seek a second term on the council, she announced Wednesday.
Mosqueda’s reelection bid, to her citywide seat, means she will not run for mayor. Mosqueda’s name had popped up in conversations about potential candidates to succeed Mayor Jenny Durkan, who is not seeking reelection.
A post to Mosqueda’s campaign website says she will seek reelection, calling her a “Leader for rights of workers and champion for affordable housing.”
In an interview Wednesday morning, Mosqueda said the mayoral speculation was not unfounded.
“It’s something that I seriously considered and I am also humbled and appreciate the messages of encouragement,” she said. “But ultimately decided to continue on the City Council instead. For me, it was a matter of really making sure that this was work we could do through the legislative branch, I felt like that journey wasn’t over.”
Mosqueda, a former labor campaign director, was first elected in 2017, winning nearly 60% of the vote.
“The issues that I ran on four years ago have, in many ways, continued to become more apparent as inequity has grown in the wake of COVID, and I want to redouble our efforts,” Mosqueda said. “I want to continue to work on improving the livelihood, the health and the well-being of our community, make sure people have a home, access to a good, living-wage job and the security they need as we recover and not just recover back to the status quo.”
The only candidate who has filed to run for Mosqueda’s citywide District 8 seat so far is Kaia Lisbeth Persson. She has not yet reported raising any money.
Mosqueda said she would run using the city’s publicly funded Democracy Voucher program, as she did in 2017. She is endorsed by U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, among others.
On the council, Mosqueda has chaired the influential Budget Committee for the last year. She introduced a proposal to tax big businesses, which became law, a victory for progressives after the council’s 2018 passage and then reversal of a smaller head tax on big businesses.
She also presided over a tumultuous budget process last year, with the city reeling from pandemic-fueled revenue losses and near-nightly protests of the Police Department. Mosqueda was one of seven city council members who said they would work toward activists’ demands that the Seattle Police Department be defunded by 50%.
The budget they passed last year cut or reallocated nearly 20% of the department’s funding.
She cited providing emergency pandemic aid — rental and food assistance, financial support for small businesses and child care providers — as among her top accomplishments last year. In a second term, she said, she wants to “make sure we’re continuing to support housing and homelessness efforts at a much higher level.”
Before joining the City Council, Mosqueda, 40, was the political director of the Washington State Labor Council, where she helped lead a statewide effort to increase the minimum wage and pass a paid sick leave policy.
She grew up in Olympia, attended the University of Washington and The Evergreen State College and lives in West Seattle.