Seattle City Council elections: Meet the 45 candidates

Voters will elect members to represent the seven district council positions, with applicants ranging from U.S. veterans to a college student.

an exterior shot of seattle city hall

With seven of nine City Council seats up for election this fall, 45 candidates have entered the race to represent their districts. (Jovelle Tamayo for Crosscut)

This fall, Seattle voters will elect City Council members to represent the seven district council positions. Forty-five candidates, including incumbents in Districts 2, 6 and 7, have thrown their hats in the ring. The following guide provides a quick snapshot of who those candidates are and what priorities they’d bring to City Hall if elected. The races are nonpartisan, so though some candidates are clear about their party affiliation, we do not include it here.

District 1 includes West Seattle, Delridge and South Park. Beginning in 2024, the district boundaries will expand to also include Georgetown, SODO, and Pioneer Square. Councilmember Lisa Herbold has represented District 1 since 2016 but is not running for re-election.

  • Preston Anderson is a U.S. Army veteran and a clinical social worker with the VA Puget Sound Health Care System. Anderson says he wants to use his experience working on behavioral health issues to tackle the homelessness and housing crises. His platform also includes road and bridge repair, mentorship and workforce development, and environmental action.
  • Lucy Barefoot is a voter outreach specialist with the Washington Secretary of State who has focused on increasing voting among underserved communities. According to her website, her focus as a candidate for District 1 is the city's affordability, homelessness and public safety. She also supports having voters take another look at Sound Transit 3 (commonly called ST3), the $54 billion voter-approved 2016 project that expands Link light rail to Ballard, West Seattle, Everett, Redmond, Issaquah and Tacoma, as well as expands the Bus Rapid Transit and Sounder transit options throughout the region.
  • Stephen Brown is the founder and owner of Eltana Bagels. He says he was motivated to enter the race after “watching our city struggle to emerge from the pandemic and related disruptions” and wants to create a “more vibrant, livable and inclusive city for all.” His priorities include violent crime and policing, homelessness, Downtown revitalization and small-business support.
  • Maren Costa is a climate activist and former tech employee who said she was fired from Amazon for organizing around climate issues and warehouse worker safety. She is campaigning on making progress with public safety, homelessness, affordable housing and preparing for climate change.
  • Jean Iannelli Craciun is the founder of the Diversity Center of Seattle, a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultancy. She says she is running because “I care deeply about West Seattle and South Park and bring a unique perspective as a researcher, mother, small-business owner and diversity proponent, with a lifelong commitment to community engagement.”
  • Mia Jacobson is a dockworker whose platform centers around government and political transparency and accountability. Jacobson's proposals include requiring officials to respond to public questions, allowing for digital comments on all city meetings, and creating digital forums for increased public engagement.
  • Rob Saka is an attorney for Meta, a justice reform advocate and an Air Force veteran who spent part of his childhood in the foster care system. He is running to improve the city for his children and other children, serve the people of District 1 and “work on real solutions to issues like public safety and homelessness, rather than play politics with it.”
  • Phillip Tavel is an attorney and administrative law judge who wants to focus on public safety, homelessness and fiscal responsibility. Tavel ran against D1 Councilmember Lisa Herbold in the 2019 general election, but lost 44%-56%. He also ran in the 2015 primary for City Council.

District 2 covers southeast Seattle, stretching from the Chinatown International District down through Rainier Beach and the southern border. Councilmember Tammy Morales has represented the district since 2020 and is running for re-election. 

  • Margaret Elisabeth is a disabled Army veteran and chair of the Green Party of Washington’s Coordinating Council. According to Elisabeth's LinkedIn page, they have worked in the tech industry and founded an online electronics shop.
  • Tammy Morales is the current District 2 councilmember. On her campaign website, she highlights work she’s done to bring community voices into policy decisions and participatory budgeting work as well as efforts around pedestrian and bicyclist safety and housing affordability.
  • Tanya Woo is a Chinatown International District community advocate and cofounder of the CID Community Watch group. She said she was motivated to run for office after seeing seniors in the CID struggle with housing affordability and observing increasing homelessness and crime in the neighborhood, especially during the pandemic.

District 3 includes Capitol Hill, the Central District, Montlake and Madison Valley, and will expand to include Eastlake in 2024. The district has been represented by Kshama Sawant since 2014. She has decided not to run again. 

  • Shobhit Agarwal is a gay first-generation immigrant from India who used to work in tech and now works in retail. He wants to improve Seattle’s green infrastructure, expand first-responder services by hiring more minorities, and lower property costs by “making property taxes differential based on residence status.”
  • Ry Armstrong is a gender-nonconforming queer actor from Capitol Hill who wants to focus on homelessness, climate and public safety. They have a background in environmental activism, including direct action with Extinction Rebellion and volunteer advocacy with the Union for Concerned Scientists.
  • Andrew Ashiofu is co-chair of the Seattle LGBTQ+ Commission. He is HIV-positive and has experienced homelessness. He previously ran for the state Legislature in the 37th District. He lists housing affordability, transportation, public safety, and Green New Deal environmental issues as his top priorities.
  • Alexander Cooley is the founder and former owner of a cannabis retail store and a longtime cannabis policy reform advocate who now works as a substitute teacher in Seattle Public Schools. His policy goals include construction of 1 million square feet of new homeless housing, police reform, and legalization of all drugs.
  • Bobby Goodwin is a public defender with the Pierce County Department of Assigned Counsel. His platform includes addressing homelessness by building more housing and implementing a vacancy tax; alternative sentencing for criminal offenders; police reform; mental health services and increasing the JumpStart tax on big businesses.
  • Joy Hollingsworth is a lifelong Central District resident and co-owner of her family’s cannabis farm and company. Her grandmother is Seattle civil rights leader Dorothy Hollingsworth. Her priorities include reducing property crime and gun violence, expanding mental health services, housing affordability, support for small businesses and youth outreach.
  • Efrain Hudnell is an Army veteran and deputy prosecutor with King County’s Mental Health Court. His agenda includes increasing the supply of housing and implementing a vacancy tax; investing in non-police, non-criminal responses to low-level crimes and behavioral health crises; and expanding the public transit system, including building a Downtown streetcar line to connect the two existing streetcar lines.
  • Alex Hudson is a First Hill resident and former executive director of the nonprofit Transportation Choices Coalition. Her priorities include increasing housing affordability, addressing homelessness, improving the transportation system and implementing a capital gains tax. 

District 4 includes the University District, Wallingford, and northeast Seattle. The district has been represented since 2020 by Alex Pedersen, who is not running again.

  • George Artem is a tech professional and entrepreneur currently working for AmeriCorps’ Vet Corps with the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs. His policy priorities include addressing homelessness without increasing taxes, increasing funding for the police department, supporting charter schools, increasing tenants’ rights including pushing rent control and supporting Downtown revitalization.
  • Ron Davis is a tech entrepreneur, consultant and urbanist who’s served on the boards of Seattle Subway, Futurewise and the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association. His priorities include improving public safety by targeting root causes, increasing housing supply and affordability, homelessness, public transit, education and workers’ rights.
  • Maritza Rivera worked for former City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen and is currently the deputy director of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture. Public safety is the centerpiece of her campaign, with goals of getting to five-minute response times for priority 911 calls; taking home and car break-ins more seriously; getting guns off the streets and out of schools and shutting down open-air drug markets.
  • Ken Wilson is a civil engineer and small-business owner. He ran against Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda in the 2021 general election. His priorities include addressing “the basics,” such as neighborhood safety and upkeep of parks, roads and public transportation, along with a focus on improving public safety and mental health and substance-use treatment for homeless residents.

District 5, which covers north Seattle, has been represented by Councilmember Debora Juarez since 2016. The two-term councilmember has announced she is not running for re-election.

  • Boegart Bibby is an IT supervisor and former small business owner. His priorities include city accountability and budget transparency, enhancing public safety, preserving civil rights and increasing housing and internet access to people experiencing homelessness.
  • Lucca Howard is an 18-year-old North Seattle College student. His priorities are to improve public transit frequency; address housing affordability by investing in social housing funded by a vacancy tax; and increase the number of parks, grocery stores and community centers in North Seattle.
  • Nilu Jenks is a community advocate and first-generation Iranian-American immigrant. She wants to focus on improving public safety by reducing response times and implementing alternative responder models; address root issues of mental health and substance use that factor into homelessness; increase bicycle and pedestrian safety and work for climate justice.
  • Shane Macomber is a staff member at behavioral health nonprofit Compass Health and a realtor. His priorities include improving transportation and urban infrastructure, addressing housing affordability and homelessness by supporting social housing and supporting education opportunities and small businesses.
  • Cathy Moore is a former King County Superior Court judge, a former Seattle public defender, and a former Chair of the Seattle Human Rights Commission. She wants to address the root causes of public safety issues with things like violence intervention programs, alternative police responders, and expansion of the police force. In addition she wants to work on housing affordability and support small businesses and entrepreneurs.
  • ChrisTiana ObeySumner is CEO of Epiphanies of Equity LLC, a social equity consulting firm; a former co-chair of the Seattle Disabilities commission; and a former co-chair of the Seattle Renters’ Commission. They want to expand the supply of affordable housing and preserve existing affordable housing; push a Housing First homelessness policy and increase funding for social services; and improve public safety with alternative responders and community policing.
  • Tye Reed is a housing-justice advocate and mutual aid activist who co-led the Initiative-135 ballot measure to create a social housing program. Reed’s platform includes improving public safety and public health, increasing green affordable housing and boosting renter protections, imposing wealth taxes and investing in youth and elders.
  • Justin Simmons is a former small-business owner and was president of the Metropolitan Democratic Club of Seattle, the Church Council of Greater Seattle and the University of Washington’s Multicultural Alumni Partnership. His priorities include addressing public safety and crime; public health issues including substance-use disorder; and protecting businesses, public space, the environment and Seattle’s unique character.
  • Bobby Tucker ran in the primary for mayor in 2021. Tucker has filed to run for City Council, but does not have a campaign website.  
  • Rebecca Williamson ran in the primary for a citywide Council seat in 2021. Williamson has filed to run in this election, but does not have a campaign website. 

District 6 is in northwest Seattle and includes the neighborhoods of Briarcliff, Magnolia, Ballard, Loyal Heights, Green Lake and Fremont. Dan Strauss has represented the district since 2020.

  • Pete Hanning is the executive director of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce and the former owner of The Red Door, a brewpub which closed in early 2020. Hanning’s policy priorities include increasing shelter space and hotel-room programs for people without housing; expanding mental health and drug treatment programs; reestablishing community police teams; streamlining the housing development process; easing business regulations and prioritizing infrastructure.
  • Dale Kutzera is a senior strategic writer on the communications team of medical startup Kinwell Health. He has also been on the city’s Northwest Design Review Board. His priorities include diverting reliance on nonprofits and creating a new city social services department to address homelessness, mental health and crime; boosting treatment facilities and protective custody for people with mental illness and addiction; and protecting single-family housing by advocating for job and population growth throughout the state.
  • Jon Lisbin, a former digital advertising executive, is board president of Seattle FairGrowth, a nonprofit organization that advocates on livability and affordable-housing policies. He also ran for the City Council’s District 6 seat in 2019 and 2015. He supports developer impact fees to help pay for community infrastructure and low-income housing; wants to use social services to address addiction and mental health and de-emphasize the criminal justice system; backs maintaining Seattle’s tree canopy; is pushing for the state to replace its existing tax system with an income tax; and wants to accommodate mental health supportive housing throughout the community.
  • Victoria Palmer, a small-business owner who lives in Greenwood, was a prominent voice in the March for Freedom protests against the local and state government’s anti-COVID-19 measures, such as vaccine requirements and business restrictions. According to her campaign website, she criticized the “Defund the Police” movement and the government response to the pandemic, and also called for “compassionate but firm solutions” to ending homelessness.
  • Dan Strauss, elected to the seat in 2019, was the senior policy adviser for former City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw. Strauss highlighted his backing of Seattle police funding and hiring measures; helping to clear encampments in Ballard and Woodland Park without sweeps; expanding homelessness outreach to people who live in vehicles; and backing the expansion of affordable housing throughout his district. Strauss says priorities for this election include expansion of first responders, including parking enforcement, the mobile crisis team and park rangers; expanding the homelessness outreach and response; expediting permits for residential development and funding affordable housing.
  • Shea Wilson is a solo practitioner lawyer and longtime Ballard resident. Wilson calls for hiring more police officers and training them in de-escalation; improving relationships between police and community members; creating an organized plan to find housing; funding infrastructure improvements and making transit more reliable.

District 7 includes Queen Anne, South Lake Union, Downtown, Belltown, southeast Magnolia and Interbay. Andrew Lewis has represented the district since 2020.

  • Isabelle Kerner, who also ran for the District 7 seat in 2019, is an artist and has a private investigations business. Kerner calls for building temporary housing and training for jobs to help people without housing get on their feet; rebuilding trust between the public and Seattle police and Seattle firefighters; and incentivizing STEM education.
  • Bob Kettle is a former Queen Anne Community Council board member and a veteran of the U.S. Navy. Kettle’s priorities include boosting funding for police and mental health treatment, easing access to shelters for people without housing, pushing for universal pre-K and expansion of community colleges, and protecting fishing and maritime jobs.
  • Andrew Lewis, a former assistant city attorney, has been on the council since 2020. He backs building more permanent supporting housing for people without homes, supporting city outreach programs to address encampments and launching a program to create shelters from extreme heat at community centers. He supported measures to protect businesses during the pandemic and is pushing for decreasing fossil-fuel usage in commercial developments. Current priorities include investments in transitional housing and social housing; boosting diversity in public safety ranks, including fire and police; creating a civilian program to respond to certain emergency calls; improving neighborhood walkability and incentivizing the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Aaron Marshall is a Seattle Police Officer and Marine Corps veteran who says he’s neither a Republican nor Democrat. Marshall wants to prioritize public safety by addressing the fentanyl and meth addiction crisis. He wants to ban public homeless encampments, fully fund the Seattle Police Department, and support Seattle’s small and medium size business owners.
  • Olga Sagan is the owner of Piroshky Piroshky, which has several locations throughout Seattle. Sagan said she decided to run for office after she felt forced to close one of the bakery’s downtown locations because of violence, crime and drug usage on Third Avenue. She also said that the desertion of Downtown exacerbated the problem. She has called for greater support for small businesses and pushed for public safety in her candidacy announcement.
  • Wade Sowders is a software engineer for Amazon who lives in Denny Triangle. His priorities include speeding up residential development by reducing paperwork and design review; greater reliance on land value taxation instead of sales tax; prohibiting drug usage but enforcing it with treatment instead of criminalization; increasing the quantity and quality of shelters for people without housing; and doubling or tripling Seattle police staffing and expanding social services so police can focus on law enforcement.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly spelled candidate Margaret Elisabeth's name and misstated their pronouns. Crosscut also misstated candidate ChrisTiana ObeySumner's pronouns.

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