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caption: Jessyn Farrell was a state legislator representing northeast Seattle from 2013-2017. She was also a candidate for Seattle mayor.
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Jessyn Farrell was a state legislator representing northeast Seattle from 2013-2017. She was also a candidate for Seattle mayor.
Credit: KUOW PHOTO/MEGAN FARMER

Jessyn Farrell joins race for Seattle mayor to go against 'status quo'

Former Washington state legislator Jessyn Farrell entered the race for Seattle mayor Thursday morning.

“People are really suffering right now, whether it’s economic hardship, racial injustice, isolation, remote schooling," Farrell told KUOW, saying that she's running against the "status quo." "These things are being made harder by a lack of city leadership.”

Farrell was a member of the Washington State House of Representatives from 2013 to 2017, representing the state's 46th District which covers much of Northeast Seattle along with the north end of Lake Washington with Bothell and Kenmore. She ran for Seattle mayor in 2017 but lost the primary election. She has been known for her focus on transit-related issues.

RELATED: Gonzalez, Echohawk, and Randall enter race for Seattle mayor

In a statement announcing her campaign Thursday morning, Farrell said that “I’ve built coalitions and bridged divides to tackle big problems before, like securing $80 billion of investments for multimodal transportation infrastructure. In my time leading the state’s COVID recovery task force to ensure small businesses and working families received economic aid, I’ve heard from countless Washingtonians that they need more support. More must be done to ensure all can afford to live and thrive in Seattle.”

She also said she aims to establish a "new standard for successful, thriving cities." “By making housing more affordable and establishing universal birth-to 5-childcare, Seattle will attract and keep the most talented workers, from teachers and chefs to entrepreneurs, musicians, and artists. What’s good for workers and families is good for business and that will be Seattle’s competitive advantage post-COVID."

Farrell's announcement features a range of supporters, notably current Councilmember Dan Strauss and State Representative David Hackney (11th Legislative District).

The slate of mayoral candidates now has a handful of familiar faces from the region's political scene. Farrell's announcement comes two days after former Councilmember Bruce Harrell announced his mayoral campaign. Harrell's council colleague Lorena González is also running.

Current candidates for Seattle mayor include:

  • Jeffrey Applegate
  • Henry Clay Dennison

Colleen Echohawk is a former board member of KUOW.