Abel Pacheco wins seven months early: When Abel Pacheco announced his candidacy for District 4 back in February there was probably no way he knew just how successful his campaign was going to be—he just won the council seat seven months early! Rob Johnson, District 4’s past council member, quit his job on the council (and his position on the powerful Sound Transit Board) so he could go work for Seattle’s new NHL team. The City Council voted on Monday to appoint Pacheco to fill Johnson’s vacancy, giving Pacheco seven months to make his mark on the City Council.
Pacheco assured me after the vote on Monday that he would no longer run for office in this year’s council election. The City Council had said they would only appoint someone that agreed not to run in this year’s election.
Is MLK Labor pulling all the City Council strings? It certainly looks like King County's labor organizers are a powerful force behind the City Council after Abel Pacheco secured his temporary spot on Monday. The MLK Labor Council, which is an affiliate of the national AFL-CIO union, was one of the few political bodies to weigh in on who should replace Rob Johnson on the council. MLK Labor endorsed Pacheco shortly before the council meeting. Their endorsements run deeper than just endorsing Pacheco.
MLK Labor has also endorsed Councilmember Debora Juarez in her reelection bid this year and endorsed Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda in her election bid in 2017. Who are the only two council members who voted for Pacheco in all four rounds of Monday’s council votes? Mosqueda and Juarez. MLK Labor Council has also endorsed Emily Myers in District 4’s regular election this year, meaning they have essentially endorsed two candidates in District 4, Pacheco and Myers. If Pacheco hadn’t secured his temporary spot on the council there might have been an awkward situation where MLK Labor endorsed two opposing candidates in District 4 in the span of one month. Were they trying to get Pacheco out of the way of Myers, their preferred District 4 candidate for the full regular term? We’ll see if MLK Labor can pull any strings for Myers. She’s currently lagging in fundraising, raising only $36,939 while District 4’s biggest fundraiser, Alex Pedersen, has $71,376.
Ari Hoffman gets on Glenn Beck: South Seattle bouncy house tycoon and District 3 candidate Ari Hoffman went on Glenn Beck’s podcast this Wednesday. Hoffman had the last slot on the show—after a segment called “Fat Sex Therapists Are Real"—so he could talk with Beck about “Seattle Is Dying,” that piece of anti-homeless person propaganda, and how he's using armed guards to protect a cemetery. I listened to the whole thing so you don’t have to. The most interesting aspect of the segment was just its existence in the first place: Hoffman is comfortable going on the show of a known conservative lunatic.
Zachary DeWolf changes his mind about Speak Out Seattle: There have been a lot of discussions this year about whether candidates should attend forums hosted by Speak Out Seattle, a local advocacy group. Speak Out Seattle has documented ties to Safe Seattle, a Facebook group run by people who frequently vilify the homeless and call for more punitive treatment of the most vulnerable people in Seattle. Some candidates, like District 4’s Shaun Scott, have boycotted the forums. Councilmember Kshama Sawant said she “fundamentally disagrees with the right wing views” of Speak Out Seattle but is still planning to attend the forums because “it’s important to debate openly and honestly with ordinary people on key issues under broad discussion in society, including where there are major disagreements.”
DeWolf is taking a third approach to the issue. He told Erica C. Barnett earlier this month that he wouldn’t attend the forums because Speak Out Seattle is not coming in “good faith” to the conversation around homelessness. But now… he’s changed his mind. Speak Out Seattle announced today that all of the District 3’s candidates, including DeWolf, will participate in a May 15 forum at the Northwest African American Museum, moderated by KIRO 7’s Essex Porter.
I reached out to his campaign and this was his reasoning for going back on his word.
“I consulted with constituents and advocates and concluded that the best avenue is to make sure a compassionate, experienced voice on homelessness is represented at the debate,” DeWolf said in a statement.