Nonpartisan, top-two primary elections for seven of nine seats on the Seattle City Council took place August 6. Seattle uses a vote-by-mail process, so while results may not be certified until August 20, media outlets have projected winners in each race who will move on to the November 5 general election.
All three incumbents running for re-election advanced from the primary. Lisa Herbold in District 1 and Kshama Sawant in District 3 will each face a candidate endorsed by the local Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee, while District 5 incumbent Debora Juarez was herself endorsed by the group.
Herbold will face attorney Phil Tavel. In District 3, Sawant, who is a member of the Socialist Alternative Party, goes up against Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce Director Egan Orion. And Juarez faces attorney Ann Davison Sattler.
Between seven and 14 candidates filed to run in each of the four open council races. One candidate backed by the Chamber of Commerce and one endorsed by the King County Democrats advanced to the general election in each race.
The District 2 election features community organizer Tammy Morales and Seattle Police Department Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Solomon.
The District 4 election is between Alex Pedersen, who worked as a legislative aide for former councilmember Tim Burgess, and journalist Shaun Scott in District 4.
The District 6 election is between Dan Strauss, who is policy advisor to councilmember Sally Bagshaw, and Heidi Wills, who served on the city council from 1999 to 2003.
And finally, the District 7 election features Assistant City Attorney Andrew Lewis and former Police Chief Jim Pugel.
The Chamber of Commerce backed Solomon, Pedersen, Wills, and Pugel. Morales, Scott, Strauss, and Lewis were endorsed by the King County Democrats.
The elections are taking place a year after the city council unanimously passed and then repealed by a 7-2 vote a head tax proposal that was opposed by the city’s business community, including Amazon. Sawant and another councilmember not up for re-election in 2019 were the two votes against repeal, and Herbold was a main supporter of the initial proposal.
Amazon contributed $250,000 to the Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee, which had spent more than $350,000 supporting endorsed candidates and opposing Herbold and Sawant ahead of the primary. Overall, the seven primary races saw around $875,000 in independent expenditures, which was more than the primary and general elections combined in 2015—the last time these same seven seats were up for election.