There may be more Democrats running for president than you can keep track of but we have our own local government to elect—so pay attention, Seattle! Seven out of the nine seats on the Seattle City Council are up for election this year with our primary vote in August. Here’s the biggest news from the campaign trail this week.
Buh Bye Beto: Non-profit director Beto Yarce announced this week that he was suspending his campaign to unseat Councilmember Kshama Sawant. Beto, who is the executive director of Ventures, is being coy about his exact reason for dropping out, only saying, “[I will] take what I have learned through this process and channel it into other programs, organizations, and opportunities that satisfy the goals I established in my campaign."
Theories abound as to why Yarce backed out. He had been living in the suburban town of Mill Creek and was looking for housing inside the district during his campaign. He said the hellish process of finding housing in the Capitol Hill area did not contribute to his decision to call it quits. Maybe it was his slow fundraising start? He had raised only $12,000 so far. Meanwhile, Hashtag Cannabis co-owner and scooter enthusiast Logan Bowers has raised $21,000 and incumbent Sawant currently leads the district with over $23,000. Or maybe Yarce fell out of favor with the Chamber of Commerce? The conservative business group is expected to spend heavily to defeat Sawant, a socialist. Was Yarce expecting to have their support and then lost it when he said he wasn’t opposed to bringing back the head tax?
We may never know.
The race for the University District heats up: District 4 saw two more notable candidates enter the race this week. Abel Pacheco, a self-described “non-profit leader and community advocate” announced that he would take another shot at the council seat after he lost to Rob Johnson and Michael Maddux in District 4’s 2015 primary. Pacheco won 8 percent of the vote and placed fifth in that primary. And Erica C. Barnett has the scoop that Cathy Tuttle, the former executive director of the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, is running in District 4.
More candidates for city council in Northeast Seattle's District 4: @CathyTuttle, the former ED of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, confirmed to me that she's in; and Abel Pacheco, who ran for the same seat in 2015, just announced his candidacy.
— Erica C. Barnett (@ericacbarnett) February 20, 2019
Tuttle is not yet listed as a candidate on the city’s Ethics and Elections Commission but even without her officially in the race there are seven people running to replace Councilmember Rob Johnson. District 4 includes Eastlake, Wallingford, the University District, Ravenna, Maple Leaf, Sand Point, and some other less important neighborhoods in the area.
MLK Labor Council likes Myers and Lewis: MLK Labor, the local AFL-CIO affiliate, endorsed Emily Myers in District 4 and Andrew Lewis in District 7 this week. The labor group said in a statement that “both candidates are active union members and would bring a working-class perspective to the city council.” The labor group said several hundred union members voted on the endorsements.
Walkinshaw picks Scott: Former state representative and failed congressional candidate Brady Piñero Walkinshaw endorsed Shaun Scott in his race for District 4 of the city council. Scott, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, is running in the University District seat that Councilmember Rob Johnson left open after Johnson announced he would not seek reelection. Interestingly, Scott actively worked to defeat Walkinshaw in 2016 when Walkinshaw ran for Congress against Pramila Jayapal. Scott worked on Jayapal’s victorious campaign during that election cycle. Jayapal, who is now a congressperson, has not announced an endorsement in the race.
Shaun Scott’s campaign runs on AOC tech: Speaking of Shaun Scott and Congress, Geekwire had a story last month about a new campaign tool created by the campaign staff for Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez that Scott is using to track and mobilize voters in his council race. Scott told Geekwire that the app, called Reach, allows his campaign staff to quickly record voter information and enables easy follow-up communication with the voters. One of the app’s developers said AOC is still very closely involved in the app and considers it “an extension of her effect on the party at large.”