Losers Forum: What's it like to run – and lose – a campaign for Seattle City Council (Video)

Crosscut archive image.

Losing city council primary candidates Brianna Thomas (District 1), Morgan Beach (District 3), and Abel Pacheco (District 4).

Getting yelled at by strangers on the bus. Receiving a $20 donation from someone you know doesn't have much money, because they believe in you, shortly before being blown off by big money donors. Forcing the board of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce to listen to your political views.

The experience of running for office can be a unique and rough one. As Brianna Thomas, a losing candidate in this past city council primary put it: "There's nothing else you can do that requires you to, one: look at yourself. Two: have everyone else look at you. And three: Be so open."

When we asked former candidates from this year's Seattle City Council primary to participate in a "Losers Forum," it may have seemed a bit blunt. Luckily, three candidates understood it was meant lightly, and took us up on a request for a candid discussion of what it's like to run for office in Seattle's new district based system.

Thomas lost in District 1 in West Seattle; Morgan Beach lost in District 3 east of downtown; and Abel Pacheco lost in District 4 around the University of Washington. While they don't like to focus on their age, they represent a new wave of young candidates inspired to run for office by the district system. We discussed stories from the campaign trail, the issues they hope the council focuses on, and their advice to other young people who want to make their mark and run for office.

Take a look below, and note that the candidates did not coordinate outfits beforehand. All that gray is coincidence.

Video by Daniel Penner. 

Join Crosscut at Civic Cocktail on Nov. 4 for a post-election wrap-up with political consultants Chris Sinderman and John Wyble, and former Seattle mayor Charley Royer. Then, Sen. Pramila Jayapal will discuss race, rent control and more.


Please support independent local news for all.

We rely on donations from readers like you to sustain Crosscut's in-depth reporting on issues critical to the PNW.


About the Authors & Contributors