ELECTION 2019: Brendan Kolding becomes 3rd to file for District 1 City Council

A third candidate has now entered the race for the District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) City Council seat. After Brendan Kolding‘s name appeared Wednesday on the list of those who have registered campaigns, we contacted him to find out more, and he responded with this announcement:

Seattle Police Lieutenant Brendan Kolding has announced his plans to challenge City Councilmember Lisa Herbold for the Council District 1 seat in 2019. “City Council is very much in need of an experienced law enforcement professional,” stated Kolding. “Seattle is in a public safety crisis, and the fine men and women of the SPD do not feel supported by City government. Officers are leaving the Department faster than their replacements can be hired, and the City Council was reluctant to approve the collective bargaining agreement that has been worked out between the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild and the City’s labor relations team. SPD is grossly short-staffed, and this problem will only be exacerbated by the passage of I-940. I am running so that our police officers can have someone on City Council who supports them and will fight for their ability to serve the people of Seattle.

“I am also running because City Council has failed to adequately address the homelessness crisis. I support the creation of FEMA-style shelters. These would be warm, dry places with healthy meals, laundry facilities, ample security, and access to critical services such as mental health care, substance abuse treatment, and job placement. The goal would be to find permanent housing for people within a regional network. It is undignified, unsanitary and unsafe for people to reside in the tents, vehicles, and other makeshift shelters that are currently scattered across Seattle. Many of these living situations are illegal, and for good reason. The solution is not RV lots, tent cities, or tiny villages. Instead, we need to provide basic emergency shelter with concentrated services aimed at elevating people into a more stable lifestyle. Once that is in place, we need to direct people who do not have homes to that option and not allow our sidewalks and parks to be used as campgrounds.”

Kolding, 36, has served on the SPD since 2008. He joined the Policy Unit in 2012, where he was actively involved in the development of key policies related to the federal consent decree. When the City was found to be in initial compliance with the consent decree in January, Kolding returned to Patrol and served as a sergeant at the West Precinct. Promoted to lieutenant in July, he currently serves at the North Precinct. He has been a voting member of the Force Review Board since 2014.

The Kolding campaign will be launching a website in the near future.

In 2017, Kolding applied for the opening on City Council that resulted when former Councilmember Tim Burgess, himself a retired SPD officer, became interim mayor.

Kolding holds a BA from Gonzaga University and an MA from Marquette University, both in political science.

He and his wife have lived in West Seattle for nine years. They have three young children. Kolding is actively involved in the community, coaching basketball at the YMCA and serving as president of the Holy Rosary School Commission.

Kolding has sought elected office before – running for State House in 2014 and 2016.

The first to register a campaign for the District 1 position was Phillip Tavel (here’s our October report), a West Seattle lawyer who ran in 2015; second, Isaiah T. Willoughby (here’s our December report). Incumbent Herbold has yet to announce whether she plans to run for re-election.

92 Replies to "ELECTION 2019: Brendan Kolding becomes 3rd to file for District 1 City Council"

  • West Seattle Hipster January 3, 2019 (11:41 am)

    He had my vote after the first 2 sentences of his statement.

    • _M_H January 4, 2019 (10:13 pm)

      Mine, too.

  • Mr E January 3, 2019 (11:53 am)

    Opposing i940? Cool. One less candidate I need to consider for Seattle City Council.

    • Aidan January 3, 2019 (10:08 pm)


    • JS January 4, 2019 (3:38 pm)

      That’s not what he said.

    • WW Resident January 5, 2019 (1:12 am)

      Of course, because the poster child of I940 was a convicted rapist, and robbery, assault, drug dealing who had a stolen gun with drugs at the time of the shooting. And now his brother is on the committee for I940 who himself is a convicted felon, former pimp who was convicted of transportation of a minor for prostitution purposes.Yeah, those are the values I  want to side with

  • BG January 3, 2019 (11:54 am)

    Wow. Works for me. I’m very excited to vote Herbold out of office.

  • A. January 3, 2019 (12:15 pm)

    He sounds too good to be true! I cannot wait to vote for him. 

  • Rick January 3, 2019 (12:20 pm)


  • Jissy January 3, 2019 (12:24 pm)

    Ditto, Hipster. Game. On. 

  • Dale January 3, 2019 (12:39 pm)

    Great to see a candidate with a platform based on common sense.  Not sure that can get him elected in Seattle, but there’s always hope…

  • M January 3, 2019 (12:41 pm)


  • Cool Rick January 3, 2019 (12:46 pm)

    He sounds like a great candidate. Herbold has been a disaster and needs to go.

    • Adam January 3, 2019 (12:59 pm)

      How has Herbold been a “disaster” — I’ve not paid a ton of attention to city politics over the past couple of years, so I’m curious. 

      • Vcb January 6, 2019 (7:40 pm)

        Just look up Head Tax.  She has to go…

    • delridge72 January 3, 2019 (3:37 pm)

      Agreed, Cool Rick. #7Upin2018

  • ArborHeightsRes January 3, 2019 (1:27 pm)

    I am not a fan of Herbold, but the last thing I want on the Seattle City Council is a police officer, either active or retired.

    • Q January 3, 2019 (4:01 pm)


  • Bababootsu January 3, 2019 (1:29 pm)

    Nice sentiment regarding homelessness, but he obviously doesn’t understand the situation. Many are too far gone from drugs or mental illness to ever live a normal life.  Finding them stable housing and trying to “raise them up” would be great, but what to you say to someone who can’t care for themselves or choose not to participate in society? 

    • CMT January 3, 2019 (2:26 pm)

      My assumption from this portion of his statement is that those who do not choose to participate will no longer be allowed to camp on sidewalks and in parks. Instead, we need to provide basic emergency shelter with concentrated services aimed at elevating people into a more stable lifestyle. Once that is in place, we need to direct people who do not have homes to that option and not allow our sidewalks and parks to be used as campgrounds.”

      • CAM January 3, 2019 (6:54 pm)

        So if they aren’t “allowed” to do what they are currently doing and do not wish to comply with the plan as described for FEMA housing, then what? Where do they go? Do they disappear because you have in your opinion given them an adequate option and thus nothing else is needed? I don’t have the answer but it certainly isn’t one size fits all and is absolutely not about criminalizing homelessness. Because if you are going to do that, aside from it being unconstitutional, you’d have to build about 5 to 6 more jails just in King County. 

        • CMT January 3, 2019 (10:51 pm)

          I was stating my understanding of Mr Kolding’s position not putting forth my own suggestion so you will need to ask him.

        • Marietta January 4, 2019 (11:46 am)

          @cam- if not flop in the street, where do they go? What do they do?That’s for the individual to decide. If they don’t want help, they need to move along and figure it out just like everyone else. The only reason a substance abuser will lie on the street and do drugs is because we let them. If that’s not an option, they have to figure out something else. You can’t build a pile of garbage on the street downtown or in a park. If you do- it will be removed. Take care of yourself or accept help- those are your options. 

    • Alki Mark January 3, 2019 (3:40 pm)

      Leaving them in a tent is not the answer, which appears to be the only present way Seattle does it

  • Mickymse January 3, 2019 (1:40 pm)

    I’m not sure that opening with opposition to a statewide initiative that passed with over 70% of the vote in King County, and which was supported by some law enforcement groups is the wisest political statement… but, hey, at least he offers a right-of-center choice for those (minority of) voters in District 1 who want that.

    • Cedar January 4, 2019 (4:57 am)

      Huh…if what has been allowed to take place in the parks, doorways, bus shelters, sidewalks, and I-5, I-90 and SR 509 rights-of-way is what is passing off for modern day Seattle “leftism” then bring on your intentionally loaded and ridiculous term “right-of-center” alternative candidate Brendan Kolding. The guy clearly has street-smarts that offer pragmatic and realistic oriented solutions that are, most importantly, humane alternative to feces, shigella, camp assaults, rapes, drug dealing, prostitution, crime and the tents, tarps, cardboard boxes, RV’s and the human misery that has been allowed to fester to the point of insanity and turned downtown and the rest of the city into a lawless mess. 

  • Amy January 3, 2019 (1:59 pm)

     What is he going to do for West Seattle?  I read all about what he thinks the City needs, but not one thing directed at advocating for the West Seattle community.

    • Sylvia January 3, 2019 (4:33 pm)

      Anything that benefits Seattle will benefit West Seattle, as well.  We are still part of the City.

      • Amy January 3, 2019 (5:43 pm)

        Yes, we are part of the City, but I something that benefits say Ballard isn’t necessarily going to benefit West Seattle. I know the guy lives here and was at one time stationed at the SWP, but that’s all that is mentioned regarding our community. He would be voted in to represent our community. I’m still waiting to hear how and what he is going to for us. 

  • WS resident for 30 years January 3, 2019 (2:05 pm)

    Finally, a candidate with common sense. He  understands that the current handling of the homeless crisis is not working, and is proposing alternatives rather than suggesting tossing even more of my hard-earned dollars at the problem.

    • Jon Wright January 3, 2019 (3:06 pm)

      I support the creation of FEMA-style shelters. These would be warm, dry places with healthy meals, laundry facilities, ample security, and access to critical services such as mental health care, substance abuse treatment, and job placement.

      I am curious how we are going to accomplish all of that without “more of [your] hard-earned dollars.”

      • JS January 4, 2019 (4:40 pm)

        With the $15,000 per homeless person we already spend.

    • seattlenative January 3, 2019 (3:39 pm)

      We have a winnah here!

  • ava January 3, 2019 (3:13 pm)

    Herbold has been very ineffective in helping to solve homelessness in West Seattle. I am ready for a change without a doubt. There are broken down RV’s and tents and there ARE solutions. Enforce laws, get people help, provide housing in a cost effective way. She has done nothing to really improve this community but still has those who she is worthy! mainly people with landlord/tenant issues or those who loved her enforcing loud noises on Alki . Come on! Our city is damaged. We need real leadership whether its Phil Tavel or Brendan Kolding. we need it now. 

  • JVP January 3, 2019 (3:16 pm)

    Hmm. I disagree with him on i-940, but agree with the rest of his statement. I’ll consider voting for him as a counter-voice to the groupthink currently on council. He won’t get his way on anything, but might pose some good questions to get the rest of them to think outside their bubbles. Council is in dire need of some balance and opposing viewpoints. 

    • Q January 3, 2019 (7:29 pm)

      Very well said.  This is a group sorely in need of a counterpoint.

  • Peter January 3, 2019 (3:18 pm)

    No way I’ll ever vote for any cop, current or former, under any circumstances, especially one that opposes I940. SPD and SPOG need to be held accountable for their racism , laziness, and abuses. We need elected officials who will be much, much, much tougher on SPD and SPOG.

    • Aidan January 3, 2019 (10:09 pm)

      Much agreed

  • Thomas Wood January 3, 2019 (3:32 pm)

    We all need to rally around the challengers and make sure Lisa Herebold  is sent packing. She has been a total embarrassment.

    • Rick January 3, 2019 (4:56 pm)

      Is that you, Tom? 

  • Sue T. January 3, 2019 (3:37 pm)

    I agree with Amy.  The council position is to represent West Seattle, yet the candidate statement says only that he lives here. How would he advocate for transportation, zoning and development, and other issues as they would specifically help or concern West Seattle?

  • Alki Mark January 3, 2019 (3:38 pm)

    Finally someone who understands what to do on the homeless issue.  They are starting to do this in LA, we need to do it here.  He so far has my vote and will be getting a donation. 

  • Thomas Wood January 3, 2019 (3:39 pm)


  • Mel January 3, 2019 (4:02 pm)

    Why, hello, guy who’s not gonna win!

    • shauna January 3, 2019 (4:15 pm)

      you might be in for a surprise ,given who the incumbent(if she files) is….

    • Alki Mark January 3, 2019 (7:01 pm)

      Dare I say the “T” word……

  • Sarah January 3, 2019 (4:03 pm)

    Wow, he sounds really promising.  Look forward to hearing more.  

  • Richard Marx January 3, 2019 (4:25 pm)

    I must blindly follow dogmatic directives from my social media feeds and reject this candidate based solely on his experience as a police officer. Anything he stands for must be worse than abandoning people to camp indefinitely outside.

  • Seattlite January 3, 2019 (4:46 pm)

    Mr. Kolding you have my vote.  Seattle needs someone with your experience that gives a profound insight into Seattle’s out-of-control homeless population and how it affects all law-abiding citizens.  And, I feel that you would stand by Seattle’s middle class. I hope that the radicals will not run you off with extreme harassment like Mr. Christopher Rufo had to endure during his candidacy until he finally dropped out.

  • Bruce January 3, 2019 (5:02 pm)

     Though Herbold is one of the better council members, I agree with most of Brendan’s positions and he’s exactly what the Council needs.  How can I help?

  • T January 3, 2019 (5:04 pm)

    I wish Mr Kolding well. I hope he has thick skin. A candidate in another district, Chris Rufo, dropped out after racial and sexual harassment of his wife by left-wing activists. People want Mike O’Brien to say in for reasons I can’t understand. The same activists are likely to support like minded Ms Herbold. This isn’t the Seattle I once knew. 

    • Peter January 3, 2019 (5:50 pm)

      Chris Rufo is a theocratic who wants to force public schools to teach christian lies as science, and that’s an indisputable fact fact. Just look at who pays him, see discovery dot org 

  • proudpapa January 3, 2019 (5:20 pm)

    Can I vote for him today? ! Brendan has my full support. 

  • Fiz January 3, 2019 (5:23 pm)

    He has my vote.

  • Tag January 3, 2019 (5:27 pm)

    Brendan Kolding is ethical, competent, conscientious, reasonable, responsible.  He will make an excellent city councilmember. 

  • Anonyme January 3, 2019 (5:28 pm)

    A voice for reason AT LAST!!  

  • Brenda January 3, 2019 (6:13 pm)

    Yes yes finally someone who is qualified!!!

  • Mj January 3, 2019 (6:13 pm)

    Finally a different approach on the homeless issue.  City taxpayers have spent too much on this issue with no end in sight.  FEMA tents would provide a warm centralized space to help those needing it.  And for those unwilling to change its time to use tough love NO MORE CODDLING!And no more taxpayer dollars need to be spent on this, enough already!

    • Peter January 3, 2019 (6:44 pm)

      “No more taxpayer dollars need to be spent on this.”So who, specifically, is going to pay for the tents and associated services if they’re not taxpayer funded?

      • Boba January 3, 2019 (7:31 pm)

        There is a lot of money already allocated to homelessness.  It is just not spent in an effective manner.  Getting someone to face up to the hard decisions and spend those funds more wisely instead of shuffling them to the same old players time and again is a huge step in the right direction.

  • skeeter January 3, 2019 (6:16 pm)

    “Once that is in place, we need to direct people who do not have homes to that option and not allow our sidewalks and parks to be used as campgrounds.”Well we can certainly direct the homeless to the FEMA-style camp.  Just like we direct them to shelters now.  But if the campers don’t go to the authorized camp/shelter, are we going to let them continue camping in the sidewalk or park?  Or are we going to arrest them and jail them for camping in an unauthorized location?     

    • Peter January 3, 2019 (6:46 pm)

      His intent is to arrest all homeless who don’t comply. He’s a cop, that’s their only solution for everything. More arrests to manufacture more need for police and demand even higher salaries. 

      • Marietta January 4, 2019 (11:35 am)

        It’s a conspiracy!

  • Dunno January 3, 2019 (6:58 pm)

    I’ll vote for him.  Just want to know why the heck we are using the Battery Street tunnel as a billion dollar dumpster. (think of what it cost to move utilities and everything else)  When for far less, parts could be daylighted and one side used as an emergency homeless shelter,  tents, running water, bathrooms, and the other for sound transit, trolley, busses, bikes and emergency vehicles to connect Pike place and the waterfront to Seattle Center and South Lake Union?   No good answer from anyone.   Except a council person’s assistant said we could alway take the viaduct crap out of the tunnel.

    • Not Safe without Great Expense. January 4, 2019 (12:48 pm)

      @ DUNNO,WSDOT – “The Battery Street Tunnel was constructed in the 1950s and is at the end of its useful life. WSDOT’s final environmental document for the program included decommissioning (filling and sealing) the tunnel, and so WSDOT has a legal obligation to implement that plan. Community ideas have been proposed for alternative uses for the tunnel. However, given the age and condition of the structure, it would need significant and costly structural and system upgrades in order to be safe for other uses.”

  • Mj January 3, 2019 (7:21 pm)

    Peter the intent was to redirect some of the existing money spent on the issue to FEMA tents.  It is clear the current approach is not working and throwing more money at the issue IS NOT THE ANSWER.

  • Chicago January 3, 2019 (7:58 pm)

    I’ve never been politically active (aside from voting), but I’d be happy to throw some volunteer time into this campaign. I was in lower Queen Anne today and still find it bewildering that the city is okay with people pitching tents right off the sidewalks, and leaving shopping carts heaped with garbage strewn about.

  • Anyone but Herbold 2019 January 3, 2019 (8:30 pm)

    This is a great start. I hope there are more candidates too. And most importantly, that Ms. Herbold gets the message loud and clear, the head tax author just doesn’t get. Thank you for your service Mr. Kolding and thank you for a pragmatic approach to Seattle’s biggest issue. I look forward to hearing more. 

  • Bails January 3, 2019 (8:33 pm)

    Got my vote! What does the city spend annually on the issue of homelessness (nearly $200 million?) with no accountability or effective results? Let’s redirect funds towards shelter, mental health and substance abuse treatment, housing support  , education and job training- in other words- creating a supportive and compassionate community.

    • sam-c January 4, 2019 (11:32 am)

      Is that money straight from the annual operating budget?  Or is that what they get from developers for the “i’m not going to include any affordable units, so here’s my fee instead” ?

  • Mr J January 3, 2019 (9:45 pm)

    Hasn’t he run and lost two district 34 races already? Hmmmmm. 

    • WSB January 3, 2019 (9:51 pm)

      As noted in the story. But for those who don’t pay close attention to politics, the 34th Legislative District stretches beyond the city in multiple directions – including unincorporated King County (White Center, etc.) and part of Burien to the south, to Vashon/Maury Islands on the west. – TR

  • J.R. January 3, 2019 (10:55 pm)

    Kolding signed up as an opponent to both 34th District Representatives and didn’t run a campaign either time —  not so much as a homemade website. The guy’s a flake.

    • West Seattle Hipster January 4, 2019 (6:45 am)

      If Mr. Kolding is indeed a “flake”, he will fit right in on our city council.    

    • Lagartija Nick January 4, 2019 (8:54 am)

      Curious, did he run as a democrat or a republican?

      • M January 4, 2019 (11:15 am)

        He ran as a Democrat

      • Bruce January 4, 2019 (12:29 pm)

         If he has to pick sides, he needs to call himself a “moderate  or right of center” democrat.   Anyone with an “R” behind their name doesn’t stand a chance around here!

  • M January 4, 2019 (5:59 am)

    Does he have a brother or sister that can also run against Sawant and O’Brien?

  • Um, No! January 4, 2019 (9:07 am)

    I think Lisa’s days are numbered!   I’ll vote for him. 

  • re-phil January 4, 2019 (10:05 am)

    I will likely vote for him.

  • Hepcat January 4, 2019 (10:21 am)

    THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!!Finally someone with common sense emerges to fight the Seattle City Swamp.Where do I donate?Where do I get signs?Where can I find that pilot and plane to replace that Geico banner with one for Brendan?How will I pick the rooftops from which to shout?I wonder how much billboards cost….

  • J.R. January 4, 2019 (12:04 pm)

    As a Democrat both times. He got 17 percent in the final against Joe Fitzgibbon in 2014 and 11 percent against Eileen Cody in the 2016 primary and was eliminated.

    • dsa January 4, 2019 (3:48 pm)

      He got 17 and 11 without trying?

      • J.R. January 5, 2019 (9:55 am)

        As could any person with a pulse.

        • CMT January 5, 2019 (6:43 pm)

          You sound like you have an axe to grind … Do you have a specific issue with Mr Kolding?  If he is a flake then no worries, he won’t win.

  • Nancy Bringolf January 4, 2019 (1:55 pm)

    Yes!  Brendan has my vote.

  • Waiting January 5, 2019 (2:26 pm)

    To those commenter’s that are angry with the police. When will we see YOU running for office?????  You’re willing to stand in the spotlight-right????

    • Alki Mark January 5, 2019 (7:28 pm)

      It’s so much easier to just tap away and complain.  I don’t understand the anger either.  I went for a ride along over 10 years ago quite the eye opener.

  • ScubaFrog January 5, 2019 (3:08 pm)

    Having a pro- police guild member on the council would be insane.   And announcing that is even whackier….Thankfully he’s the 3rd choice.  No dice.  He’s SPD’s choice to strong-arm the homeless away  (I’m so glad we can finally prosecute the police now!).Option 1 or 2 will surely win the majority votes.  

    • CMT January 5, 2019 (6:48 pm)

      I just don’t get this viewpoint,  What the heck is wrong with a balance of various viewpoints on a city council?   Why should police be excluded from a seat at the table to help solve the problems relating to police.  I’ve always viewed myself as a liberal but even I am sick of the current, increasingly extreme and one-sided approach to addressing this City’s issues – an approach, I might add, that is failing.

  • Highland Park neighbor January 6, 2019 (4:55 pm)

    So many blowhards commenting here- I don’t see nearly enough information to make an informed decision on this candidate, and I don’t make up my mind from one statement, especially when it addresses only one initiative and one issue, homelessness. Also, I hate to say it, but for such a liberal and highly-educated constituency, our police do NOT reflect well on us, showing implicit bias and tendencies to escalate situations that have been noted on a DOJ/Federal level. It’s not entirely their fault, as they were protected by cronies and old school boys club mentalities for far too long. But we need a change in the SPD, and if our police can’t recognize that, they are part of the problem not the solution. This voter is not impressed with the new candidate.

  • Seattle Needs Change January 7, 2019 (7:19 pm)

    He’s got my vote!  We need a voice for the WS taxpayer who will use common sense to solve the long-term challenges of our city.  If we keep electing the same type of candidate, we are going to get the same outcome.  Let’s get some differing ideas on the council.

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