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Gov. Jay Inslee's announcement that he was officially running for president was the biggest local political news this week, but before Inslee can embarrass himself at the Iowa Caucuses, we have to elect our new City Council. All seven district seats are up for election and four of the sitting incumbents have announced they are not seeking reelection. So what's new in City Council news?

16 years after "Stippergate," Heidi Wills wants to be Councilmember Wills again: Former Councilmember Heidi Wills lost her City Council reelection bid in 2003 after she became embroiled in the so-called Strippergate controversy. Wills had accepted donations linked to a strip club owner in Lake City and then subsequently voted in favor of a zoning change for the strip club owner's property. Wills was eventually fined $1,500 for not disclosing meetings with the club owner’s associates, according to the Times.

Wills now wants back on the council. There aren’t a lot of policy details in her first interview with the Times, other than her telling the paper that condoning “sleeping in tents in public spaces is problematic” and that she’s “gained a lot of experience since” the scandal tanked her first term on the council. Hopefully we’ll get an interview with the candidate soon, but until then check out this 1999 piece from our archives about her first run for council.

Turns out King County has a council???: Elections for the long-overlooked King County Council are heating up. In fact, this might be the hottest County Council election in decades. Abigail Doerr, a transit advocate and veteran of running environment and transit initiatives, announced she would run in King County Council District 4. Jeanne Kohl-Welles currently represents the district, which is the only County Council district that’s entirely within Seattle. Kohl-Welles told me on Wednesday that she would decide if she wanted to seek reelection sometime in “mid to late March.”

Six-term County Councilmember Larry Gossett is also getting a challenger in his District 2, which includes the University District, Capitol Hill, Central District, and Rainier Valley. Girmay Zahilay, a local attorney, told the Times that he had heard rumors that Gossett was retiring before he decided to announce his candidacy for the district. Gossett told the Times he would announce his intentions on March 23.

There are now 48 people running for City Council, baby!: Wow, that’s a lot.

Katie Herzog is currently interviewing a candidate who lives on a boat: I can't tell you who it is, but they live on a boat in District 6. As in a boat boat, not a house boat. Will they capture Ballard’s coveted mariner voting bloc and thus win the council seat Mike O’Brien is leaving vacant? We’ll find out more next week!

Democracy Voucher update: Four candidates have received enough donations to qualify for access to the city’s Democracy Vouchers: Lisa Herbold, Tammy Morales, Logan Bowers, and Alex Pederson. Need a refresher on what Democracy Vouchers are? Read this post. Basically, every voter in Seattle gets four $25 vouchers that they can donate to any qualified candidate of their choosing.

District 4 candidate Sasha Anderson likes Teddy’s Bar and Bike Lanes: Nathalie Graham interviewed Sasha Anderson, a senior program coordinator for a mentoring program for high school students, about why she wants to represent District 4 on the City Council. There are now nine people running for the district after Councilmember Rob Johnson announced he wouldn’t seek reelection. Anderson is a “self-described social justice advocate, a lesbian, a renter, and a steward of the environment.”

Pedersen has all the money: Let’s do a campaign finance update! Over $300,000 has been raised so far this year with the bulk of it going to Alex Pederson. Just kidding. Pedersen, a former City Council staffer, hasn't raised a majority of all the money but he's raised a lot. He's pulled in $43,671, almost twice as much as his next closest cash competitor. Jim Pugel, a former SPD Chief, is in second with $24,890, Kshama Sawant has $23,392, and Logan Bowers has $21,417.

Here’s one interesting aspect of Pedersen’s money. Shaun Scott, the socialist running against Pedersen in District 4, has received donations from 236 contributors, not too far behind Pedersen’s 286 donations. But Scott’s average donation size is only $52.07, while Pedersen is pulling in an average of $152.70.