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Friday, July 18, 2014

A Quick Refresher on Who's Running, and Where, in the 2015 City Council Elections

Posted by on Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Click this to see the citys full, zoom-able district map. Kshama Sawant and potentially Alison Holcomb will run for a seat in District 3.
  • City of Seattle
  • Click this to see the city's full, zoom-able district map. Kshama Sawant and potentially Alison Holcomb will run for a seat in District 3.
With news of a potential showdown between two progressive rock stars in a 2015 city council race—Kshama Sawant and Alison Holcomb—people are asking who, exactly, is running where in our newly district-based council system? What are their options again?

As y'all know, but let's refresh: A city charter amendment last year passed with 66 percent of the city's vote, creating a new, hybrid system of seven city council districts and two at-large city council positions. (Our explainer from the day after the vote can be found right here.) The first district election is in 2015.

Since then, two-thirds of the city council has declared candidacy for the 2015 election, and two other outside candidates have declared, both for the West Seattle district. Six city council members live in the same district as another member (that's Bagshaw and Burgess in Downtown-centered District 7, Clark and Harrell in Southeast District 2, and Licata and O'Brien in Northwest-ish District 6) and no city council member lives in District 5 (North Seattle). To find out what district you live in, check out the city's handy map.

Candidates have until May 15, 2015 to declare candidacy, so things could still change, but here's where they stand now:

City Council Position 1 (Southwest/West Seattle)
David Ishii
Charles R. Redmond III

Not yet declared for this seat but lives there:
Tom Rasmussen*

City Council Position 2 (Southeast)
Bruce Harrell

City Council Position 3 ("East Central," including Capitol Hill)
Kshama Sawant

Says she's seriously considering:
Alison Holcomb

City Council Position 4 (Lake Union to Sand Point, including U-District)
Jean Godden

City Council Position 5 (North)

City Council Position 6 (Green Lake to Golden Gardens)

Lives there and still deciding what to do:
Nick Licata
Mike O'Brien

Wouldn't it be funny if:
Mike McGinn**

City Council Position 7 (Downtown to Discovery Park)
Sally Bagshaw

City Council Position 8 (Citywide)
Tim Burgess

City Council Position 9 (Citywide)
Sally Clark

*Tom Rasmussen has declared he'll run but not which seat he'll run for; like I said, he lives in West Seattle.
**You may have noticed I put him in District 5 when I first published this post. That's been the word for a while; we checked it out back when the measure first passed. But, durrrrr, it turns out he lives on the boundary line and so is technically in District 6, with his ideological friends Licata and O'Brien. Whoops and sorry.

So to answer a question going around: Could Holcomb run against a different, less left-wing council member if she so chose? Yeah, totally. She could run against centrists Burgess or Clark for a citywide seat. But that's very different electoral math, and she's likely making a smart decision to run in the district where she lives, in terms of fundraising, door-knocking, etc.

What are O'Brien and Licata, who have very similar values and team up on lots of legislation and activism, going to do? Nobody quite knows yet. But their only choices are to run against each other or to take on another of their colleagues for a citywide seat.


Comments (30) RSS

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Max Solomon 1
you have to pry jean godden from district 4's cold, dead hands. do you know how many old ladies exactly like jean godden live up there?
Posted by Max Solomon on July 18, 2014 at 4:40 PM · Report this
@1: Exactly. Jean Godden is terrible. Terrible like Laurelhurst. District elections suck. Thanks SECB, you stupid, stupid stoners.
Posted by DOUG. on July 18, 2014 at 4:58 PM · Report this
Redmond is a well known community activist who did grass roots work for districts. Running against a Rasmussen who was against districts, contrary to the desires of the district, Redmond is a solid choice.

Sawant could run at large. She has bigger balls than most. Don't think she won't try it. she reached for the stars before, why not again? And against Burgess? OMG. What fun!

Spear can run against Godden after losing to chopp.

just like sawant's path.

McGinn lives in a tiny carve out from district 5, almost as if he were put in with o'brien and licata deliberately....just sayin'....
Posted by chit chat on July 18, 2014 at 5:00 PM · Report this
#7 Sally bagshaw ugh! Why can't Seattle do better? Why do we have suchpasty milquetoast leaders in our ultra-liberal berg?
Posted by pat L on July 18, 2014 at 5:03 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 5
A) Alison Holcomb is not a Progressive Rock Star. She's a centrist claiming to be a progressive.

B) So, I'm realizing the limitations of the new residency laws. I'd love for Holcomb to challenge Jean Godden.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on July 18, 2014 at 5:05 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 6

I'm not sure you understand what that word means.

In Seattle they're Far Right.
Posted by Will in Seattle on July 18, 2014 at 5:10 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 7
No love for District 5? Is it something in the water?
Posted by Reverse Polarity on July 18, 2014 at 5:18 PM · Report this
I want to hear more about Holcomb but I do know for a fact that Sawant is running scared.
Posted by caution&daring on July 18, 2014 at 5:21 PM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 9
Sure she is, @8. Sure she is.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on July 18, 2014 at 5:39 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 10
8 and 9 are the vulnerable ones
Posted by Will in Seattle on July 18, 2014 at 5:46 PM · Report this
DOUG. 11
@7: Mike McGinn would've been a fine candidate in District 5, but you see that crazy little zig-zag around Greenwood and 85th? That's where McGinn lives, putting him in the 6th with O'Brien and Licata.

There is no logical reason why the 5th shouldn't extend all the way west to Greenwood and south to 85th, unless the people who crafted this map wanted to give a big "Fuck You" to McGinn.
Posted by DOUG. on July 18, 2014 at 6:02 PM · Report this
@ 10 please Burgess will win, and i would sawant to challenge him so he could wipe the floor with her.
Posted by dkjndmsahksdhksal on July 18, 2014 at 6:24 PM · Report this
Small but important error in the article, Anna. You said "Licata and O'Brien in Northwest-ish District 4", but that is actually the Northwest-ish District 6. Just thought you'd want to correct that.
Posted by BeelzeBallard on July 18, 2014 at 6:36 PM · Report this
You also said at the bottom; "But, durrrrr, it turns out he lives on the boundary line and so is technically in District 4, with his ideological friends Licata and O'Brien. Whoops and sorry." But that is still District 6.
Posted by BeelzeBallard on July 18, 2014 at 6:37 PM · Report this
Why do _you_ dislike Sawant?
Posted by caution&daring on July 18, 2014 at 6:53 PM · Report this
I would vote for Ms. Holcomb if she ran in the 5th. If she runs in the 3rd, I'll do everything I can to defeat her.
Posted by Pol Pot on July 18, 2014 at 7:11 PM · Report this
Sweet, I get to vote against both Sally Clark and Tim Burgess!
Posted by aleks on July 18, 2014 at 7:14 PM · Report this
It's worth noting that everyone currently on the council has won a citywide election. O'Brien has won twice; Licata has won four times. There's absolutely no reason they couldn't win again. Of course, the same is true for Clark and Burgess, but they don't have the SECB on their side...
Posted by aleks on July 18, 2014 at 7:20 PM · Report this
@13 & 14: Fixed, thank you! Damn all this day-drinking.
Posted by Anna Minard on July 18, 2014 at 7:43 PM · Report this
Fnarf 20
@1, because old women suck, amirite? The worst people ever. We should just put people in the gas chamber when they turn 40, right? Especially bitches. I mean, they don't even have any tattoos!
Posted by Fnarf on July 18, 2014 at 9:02 PM · Report this
MarkyMark 21
I cannot imagine a more suitable graphic to succinctly sum up the attitude of The Stranger in general and Slog in particular to the city of Seattle; one that stops at Greenlake at the north and SODO at the south -- perfect!
Posted by MarkyMark on July 18, 2014 at 9:22 PM · Report this

Why do _you_ dislike Sawant?

I saw that too.
Very telling.
Posted by caution&daring on July 18, 2014 at 9:40 PM · Report this
Mike and Nick should take on Burgess and Clarke and free up the 6th for another progressive (McGinn or other). And somebody (Alison?) needs to move into the 5th stat.
Posted by gnossos on July 18, 2014 at 9:47 PM · Report this
@11, yes, McGinn, O'Brien, and Licata would have to run against each other. What's-her-name who drew up the district map just possibly designed it that way. Just possibly.
Posted by sarah70 on July 18, 2014 at 10:25 PM · Report this
There will be people who will run against Godden in District 4. She is just not the shoo-in you may think (even with her good points).

For my neighborhood, Roosevelt/Ravenna, if you can't get the Sisley problem solved, don't bother. I'll hold Godden to that one as well.
Posted by westello on July 18, 2014 at 10:29 PM · Report this
Posted by MrBaker on July 18, 2014 at 11:31 PM · Report this
MrBaker 27
Anybody that thinks McGinn would do well in the 5th district should look at the precinct map of election returns so they can see how he struggled in the 5th.

There are two or three busy bodies preening at this point but nobody has actually announced anything.
Posted by MrBaker on July 18, 2014 at 11:38 PM · Report this
@26 -- You are correct. The Seattle Districts Now steering committee paid no attention to where the incumbents lived; we mostly left the map to Prof Morrill. The exceptions were my screw-up suggesting putting Greenlake together and allowing Fremont to be split (mea culpa again!) in exchange, and putting Eastlake together at the request of many residents there.

Moving lines to put incumbents in one district or another never came up in any of the discussions I'm aware of. We followed this criteria that we wrote into the Charter to guide future redistricting: "In drawing the plan, neither the Commission nor the districting master shall consider the residence of any person." Charter, Article IV, Section 2(3).

Of course, after CA19 passed, many of us got very interested in where incumbents and others lived. We weren't the only ones.
Posted by TobyinFremont on July 19, 2014 at 2:20 PM · Report this
DOUG. 29
@28: Could you please explain to me why the 5th doesn't extend to 85th and Greenwood?
Posted by DOUG. on July 19, 2014 at 2:31 PM · Report this
@26: The original commenter was thinking of Faye Garneau:…

I'm not commenting on the role she may or may not have played in the drawing of the map.
Posted by aleks on July 19, 2014 at 7:47 PM · Report this

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