This is Terry Hofman, who maybe wants to run for an at-large city council seat in 2015.
  • Left: Image courtesy of Terry Hofman/Right: Image courtesy of City of Seattle
  • This is Terry Hofman, who maybe wants to run for an at-large city council seat in 2015.
Poking around the city's records of who's filed to run for city council next year, I found a new name the other day: Terry Hofman. Huh? What? How had someone filed without any fanfare and without being someone anyone had ever heard of?

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A little research uncovered two interesting things: One, Hofman actually filed with the state's Public Disclosure Commission (as opposed to the city's Ethics and Elections Commission) back in May of this year, and had only shown up on the city pages very recently. And two, Hofman is the co-owner of Madison Park Bakery, which he's owned and run with his wife for about two decades.

So I called him up. "I'm still kind of kicking it around," he said of a potential run for council, sounding surprised that someone had found him. "I'm a small business owner and I thought I'd give myself a go for next year." He says he wants to run at large, not in a district, but he's not sure which at-large seat he'd aim for. (Two powerful sitting council members have filed to run in those two seats; he'd have to take on either former council president Sally Clark or current council president Tim Burgess to run citywide.)

What are his platforms and issues? He reiterated that he's coming from a small-business perspective. "The city is, I hate to say unfriendly, but there's not a lot going for small, small businesses in the city, mom and pop size like ours... For me, there's a lot of regulations slapped on people and small businesses, taxes and things, that make it really tough for people to come to the city and start up."

He sounds less than enthusiastic about the new $15 minimum wage, but says, "We’ll certainly make it work." But he thinks the current council lacks the perspective of a business owner. He says "it's harder and harder to live here," due to "taxes, transportation, and crime," and he wants the city to be more family-friendly and small-business-friendly. He'd advocate for more police walking beats, he says.

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He also stresses that he's still not sure if he'll run, and that even if he did and won, he wouldn't necessarily want to stay in office long. The at-large members who are elected next year will only get to serve two-year terms due to the way the transition to district elections plays out. "I'm 61," he says. "I'd be interested to see how it goes for two years. I'm not a career politician."

He plans to make his decision on whether to really make a serious run after this year's election, by the end of 2014.