Updated May 23, 2023 - Politics

Who's running for Seattle City Council in 2023

Illustration of Seattle City Hall with lines radiating from it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The November election will bring big changes to the Seattle City Council, with at least four of the council's nine members having already announced they won't seek re-election.

Why it matters: The exodus of incumbents means most of the seven council positions on the ballot will be open seats, upping the potential for a change in the council's political direction.

What they're saying: "It's guaranteed there's going to be a big shift," Seattle-based political consultant Michael Charles told Axios.

The big picture: Voters remain frustrated with issues such as crime and homelessness, he said, which could mean some of the same forces that ushered in a more moderate, business-friendly council in 2021 will carry over into 2023.

  • Rachel Smith, president and CEO of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, told Axios that Seattle voters are progressive, but "I also think they're pragmatic — they want to see candidates who have a plan."

Other dynamics are new — such as the recent layoffs of tech workers, which could affect how that large voting bloc views candidates and city policy, political consultant Crystal Fincher said in an interview.

  • "A chunk of them are feeling vulnerability in a way they have not before," she said.

What we're watching: Expect a lot of money to pour into this year's races, "because control of the council is at stake," Fincher said.

Zoom in: Here's a look at who's running so far, based on public announcements and campaign finance filings with the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission.

  • Of note: Candidates still must formally file to run for office in May. You can find your council district using this tool.

District 1

Neighborhood: West Seattle and South Park

State of play: Incumbent Lisa Herbold has announced she isn't running for re-election.


Withdrew: AnnaLisa LaFayette

District 2

Neighborhood: Southeast Seattle and Georgetown

State of play: Incumbent Tammy Morales is running for re-election.


Withdrew: Dawn Lucas; Isaiah Willoughby

District 3

Neighborhood: Central Seattle, including Capitol Hill

State of play: Incumbent Kshama Sawant said she isn't running for re-election.



District 4

Neighborhood: Northeast Seattle, including the University District and Wallingford

State of play: Incumbent Alex Pedersen says he isn't running for re-election.


Withdrew: Matthew Mitnick

District 5

Neighborhood: North Seattle, including Lake City and Northgate

State of Play: Incumbent Debora Juarez has said she won't run for re-election.


Withdrew: Peter Kithene Wilson; Sinh Tran

District 6

Neighborhood: Northwest Seattle, including Ballard, Phinney Ridge and Green Lake

State of Play: Incumbent Dan Strauss has announced he plans to seek re-election.



District 7

Neighborhood: Downtown, Queen Anne and Magnolia

State of play: Incumbent Andrew Lewis has announced he will run for a second term.



Editor's note: This story was updated to include all candidates who filed to appear on the ballot before the filing deadline of May 19, 2023.


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