Centrist in Seattle? How this week's election could change City Council politics
Election Day is Tuesday, and some big changes are afoot, especially when it comes to the Seattle City Council.
Longtime Council firebrand Kshama Sawant is stepping aside, along with at least three other incumbents; Sawant's departure alone will shift the politics of the Council.
So, what will the shakeup mean for the Council and the future of Seattle?
"Mayor [Bruce] Harrell is big on cooling some of the fiery rhetoric in city politics and bringing lawmakers together to work on solutions," said KUOW politics editor Catharine Smith. "And in this election, Mayor Harrell has backed candidates who he thinks can do that. Most of these people that he's backing happen to be kind of center-left candidates."
Those candidates include: Joy Hollingsworth in District 3, which Sawant currently represents, Cathy Moore in District 5 and Maritza Rivera in District 4.
Smith said the mayor appears to be angling for candidates who agree with his policies and who won't have to fight with each other to get them passed. In theory, less division on the Council could mean more action.
Seven of the nine seats are up for grabs, and just three incumbents are running to keep their seats: Tammy Morales in District 2, Dan Strauss in District 6 and Andrew Lewis in District 7. That means the Council will get at least four new faces — and new personalities.
Plus, Teresa Mosqueda is running for a seat on the King County Council. She'll have to vacate her City Council seat if she wins, which would pave the way for another new member.
"No matter how that shakes out, we know the City Council will look very, very different next year," Smith said.
Ballots are due by 8 p.m. Tuesday night. Get your ballot postmarked or deposited in a secure ballot drop-box to make sure your vote is counted.