Election season 2015 officially launched last Friday at midnight, the candidate filing deadline. The final slate of City Council hopefuls will be finalized after the withdrawal deadline on Monday. But it looks like voters will have nearly four dozen office-seekers to choose from, most of them newcomers.
Even in a year when many county council and school board positions are also up for grabs, the primary and general election campaigns in Seattle will draw huge attention. And legitimately so. The outcome of the 2015 races promises a sea change for Seattle politics, not just in terms of who wins, but because of the historic nature of the election process itself. (You can find the full list of filings for all the city council, school board and other races on King County's website.)
As the campaigning begins, here are some things to keep in mind.
What you should know
For starters, this is the first election under a new hybrid system that virtually does away with the old practice of electing council members by citywide votes. Seven of the nine members will be elected by districts, a reorganization that voters approved in a 2013 initiative.
(The City Clerk's Office has a guide to the districts, which roughly conform to neighborhoods, and a link to King County Elections' interactive map for finding yours. You can find links to Crosscut's analysis of the districts and Seattle voting patterns here. We will also publish brief information about all the City Council candidates later.)