Three millionaires currently sit on the Seattle City Council, and Mayor Jenny Durkan banks a net worth of $5.6 million.
In November, we'll choose whether we'd either like to add another millionaire to the council like "progressive small business owner" Sara Nelson, who owns two multimillion-dollar homes, or attorney and renter Nikkita Oliver, who is $2,000 in debt.
On the mayoral front, only two candidates are millionaires. On one end of the financial spectrum we have Bruce Harrell boasting a $15.1 million net worth and a Seward Park mansion with a three-car garage. On the other end, we have four of the leading candidates still paying off their student loans.
You may not want to base your November vote on who has debt and who has a manicured Laurelhurst home, but whoever wins the city races this year will have a big say in the ways Seattle bounces back from the pandemic recession. Will the city achieve that recovery through cash assistance for low-income residents? New progressive taxation? New strategies to attract businesses to the area? That'll be up to whomever Seattle elects.
According to financial disclosure reports submitted on April 15, some candidates may have felt the squeeze of the recession more than others.
While we have 15 people running for mayor and 11 city council candidates across both races this year, I only dug into the reports for the candidates who have raised any campaign contributions. Here's what I found:
Colleen Echohawk says her net worth is $400,000. Echohawk reported that she earned between $100,000 and $199,999 in the last tax year as the executive director of Chief Seattle Club. She also reported that she and her spouse, Matthew Hayashi, earned between $25,000 and $99,999 from Headwater People Consulting, an LLC where Hayashi works as the principal organization development and leadership consultant. Hayashi and Echohawk also earned between $10,000 and $24,999 from a family member renting out the basement in their Greenwood home that she said was worth $200,000 and $999,999. Redfin estimates Echohawk's home is worth $790,000. She is still paying off between $5,000 and $9,999 worth of student loans.
Jessyn Farrell said she earned between $100,000 and $199,999 as an attorney at Civic Ventures. She also received between $10,000 and $24,999 last year in child support. Those earnings, a diverse investment portfolio, multiple retirement funds, and her Laurelhurst home valued between $1 million and $4.9 million put Farrell's net worth at $1.25 million. According to Redfin, Farrell's home is worth nearly $1.4 million. Still, Farrell is paying off student loans worth between $25,000 to $99,999. According to her interest rate, it will take Farrell 20 years to pay those off.
Lorena Gonzalez, the Seattle City Council president, is worth $266,000. Gonzalez earned between $100,000 and $199,999 in her role on the council last year. Her husband, Cameron Williams, earned between $25,000 and $99,000 as a restaurant manager. Williams, who was laid off during the pandemic, reported earning the same amount through unemployment. The two own a condo in West Seattle valued in the $200,000 to $999,999 range, and they're paying off a mortgage between $100,000 and $199,999. Both Williams and Gonzalez are still making payments on student loans that cost between $25,000 and $99,999 and between $60,000 and $99,999. Gonzalez is also making $250 monthly payments with the IRS for a tax liability between $25,000 and $99,999.
Bruce Harrell estimated his net worth at $15.1 million. Harrell, who is a retired attorney and former city council member, said he earned between $100,000 and $199,999 last year from his pension. Meanwhile, his wife, Joanne Harrell, earned between $1 million and $4.9 million as a director at Microsoft. Harrell did not write down the assessed value of his 4 bed, 4.5 bath Seward Park home, but Zillow zestimates it's worth around $3.8 million. Their second home in Boise, Idaho is worth around $644,000 on Zillow. Harrell did not include the Bellevue condo he and his wife previously owned in his financial report. Harrell's wife's Microsoft investment account is worth somewhere between $1 million and $4.9 million.
Andrew Grant Houston reported his net worth was $0. Houston is an architect who operates his own small business, House Cosmopolitan. Houston reported $10,000 and $24,999 in earnings as an architect, but he also reported that he went on pandemic unemployment insurance and earned between $5,000 and $9,999. In December, he started a new role as Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda's legislative aid, where he reported earning between $5,000 and $9,999. Houston is also paying off student loans.
Lance Randall is worth $200,000. Last year, Randall earned between $25,000 and $99,999 working as a musician for First AME Church. He earned between $0 and $999 as president of the Affordable Sound Company, a rental company for live audio sound and studio visual equpment, and he earned between $25,000 and $99,999 as an IT administrator for the state of Washington. Under creditors, Randall listed that both he and his wife, Michelle Randall, are making payments on auto loans to credit unions.
The People You Didn't Realize were Running for Mayor:
James "Dukes" Donaldson reported that he earns between $25,000 to $99,999 from his NBA Players Pension Plan for the 14 years he spent in the NBA. Donaldson, who played three seasons on the Seattle Supersonics, reported his net worth was $5,000. Donaldson didn't report any earnings from his non-profit "Your Gift of Life."
Seattle City Council Position 8
Teresa Mosqueda is worth $98,000. Mosqueda reported that she earned between $100,000 and $199,999 as a city council member. Her husband, Manuel Valdes, is a reporter for the Associate Press, where he earns between $25,000 and $99,999 annually. Mosqueda and Valdes own a West Seattle condo. They paid off their $7,000 car last year.
Kate Martin earns her living doing planning and design consulting out of her Ballard home, which has an assessed value of between $1 million and $4.9 million. Last year, Martin earned between $25,000 and $99,999 annually doing that design work, and earned the same amount for "sharing my house with renters," Martin wrote in her financial disclosure report. On top of that, Martin received between $10,000 and $24,999 from social security. Martin is worth $800,000.
Paul Glumaz is retired and earns between $5,000 and $9,999 through social security. He has no creditors. Glumaz has a net worth of $5,000.
Seattle City Council Position 9
Sara Nelson earns between $25,000 to $99,999 annually as the co-owner of Fremont Brewing Company. Her husband, Matthew Lincecum, earns between $200,000 and $999,999 as the CEO of Fremont Brewing. The two own a Green Lake home that has an assessed value between $1 million and $4.9 million. According to Redfin, the house is worth $1.1 million and last sold in 2000 for $227,000. They also own a second house on Camano Island that's worth somewhere around $200,000 and $999,999. Redfin estimates the Camano Island property is worth just over $1 million. Nelson counts Fremont Brewing as an asset, which itself is worth between $1 million and $4.9 million. Nelson reported her net worth as $2.3 million.
Nikkita Oliver is worth -$2,000, according to their financial disclosure. Oliver works many different jobs. Their reported earnings from last year include: between $25,000 and $99,999 in wages from their work as the executive director of the Rainier Valley Corps, otherwise known as Creative Justice, the art therapy diversion program; between $1,000 to $4,999 as a speaker and educator at South Pudget Sound Community College; $5,000 to $9,999 as a workshop facilitator and educator at Northwest Education Service District; between $1,000 to $4,999 as a consultant and educator at Community Passageways; between $5,000 to $9,999 each as a speaker and educator at the University of Washington, Edmonds Community College, an attorney at the Lavender Rights Project, and a consultant at the Snohomish County Public Defender Association; and they earned between $1,000 and $4,999 as a speaker and educator at Green River College. Oliver is paying between $25,000 and $99,999 to a creditor, and they are also paying off a car payment.
Brianna Thomas pegs her net worth at $175,000. Thomas earned between $25,000 and $99,999 last year working as Gonzalez's chief of staff. She is paying off a student loan worth between $25,000 and $99,999.
Claire Grant listed her net worth as $0 and reported earning between $25,000 and $99,999 as an engagement coordinator for Stronger Families, an organization that helps military and veteran families. Grant, who is currently in school, deferred payments on her student loans last year.
Pete Holmes is worth $2.2 million. In his role as City Attorney, he earned between $100,000 and $199,999 last year. His wife, Ann Holmes, earned the same amount in her role as the vice president of operations for VillageReach, a healthcare nonprofit. Holmes owns two homes right next to each other in Seward Park. The King County Assessor valued one home at $837,000 and the other at $790,000, though Redfin estimates the houses are worth $970,000 and $865,000.