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) Declared: David Ishii Charles R. Redmond III
Not yet declared for this seat but lives there: Tom Rasmussen*
City Council Position 2 (Southeast) Declared: Bruce Harrell
City Council Position 3 ("East Central," including Capitol Hill) Declared: Kshama Sawant
Says she's seriously considering: Alison Holcomb
City Council Position 4 (Lake Union to Sand Point, including U-District) Declared: Jean Godden
City Council Position 5 (North) Declared: Nobody
City Council Position 6 (Green Lake to Golden Gardens) Declared: Nobody
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) Declared: Sally Bagshaw
City Council Position 8 (Citywide) Declared: Tim Burgess
City Council Position 9 (Citywide) Declared: 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.