ELECTION 2021: Bruce Harrell running for mayor again

Adding his name today to what’s now a 14-candidate list in the Seattle mayor’s race is someone who once, albeit briefly, held the title: Former City Councilmember Bruce Harrell. He was council president when then-mayor Ed Murray resigned in 2017, but declined to keep the interim mayoral position, so the council appointed another member, Tim Burgess, to serve the two months until the next election. Harrell then decided not to run for council re-election in 2019. His campaign announcement today is in the form of an “open letter” to Seattle residents. It tells his personal story as well as laying out a wide-ranging platform including business assistance, affordable health care, job creation, arts/culture/nightlife revitalization, public/private partnership to address homelessness, addressing structural racism and police bias, and more. His few days as mayor in 2017 were marked by issuance of four executive orders, as we reported here. This isn’t his first run for mayor – he ran in 2013, finishing fourth in a primary field of nine. This year’s primary is August 2nd; the candidate lineup will be finalized in May.

37 Replies to "ELECTION 2021: Bruce Harrell running for mayor again"

  • Kat Shimon March 16, 2021 (12:39 pm)

    What a great candidate!! So, so, so excited to see this. YES!!!

  • Yes March 16, 2021 (12:51 pm)

    Run, Bruce! This is the most excited I’ve been for a local candidate in a long time.

  • Yayyay March 16, 2021 (1:00 pm)

    Will vote for him.He has better common sense than the rest.Where can I send my election vouchers to him?

  • Anne March 16, 2021 (1:09 pm)

    $10 million to each of 7 city council districts-where would that $70 million come from?Mr.Harrells open letter has lots of ideas-I’m not necessarily opposed to any of them-other than the how.  Hopefully there will be more of the “how” especially in regards to funding -going forward. This part of his letter:aren’t we already doing at least some of these things? Will existing funding go towards his vision – or will new/more funding be needed. The part about “every business & individual making tax deductive donations” sounds good-but many of us already do that-so  how exactly would that work-or be different? 

  • KWestSeattle March 16, 2021 (1:14 pm)

    Based on his 4 executive orders, I feel like I could vote for this guy. We need sanity in city leadership!

  • Ann March 16, 2021 (1:20 pm)

    Yes!! I also want to know how to contribute my election voucher to him! 

  • Dunno March 16, 2021 (1:38 pm)

    We need a grownup!!!  Bruce is the one!   He understands the underserved in our community and will give them a hand up.  He also has common sense, and I don’t believe he would pander to the mob.   Best news for the city of Seattle in a long time.

  • WSB March 16, 2021 (2:12 pm)

    Every campaign-announcement story has a link to the candidate’s website. (In this story, the word “campaign” is linked – the root of the URL for the “open letter” is also his website).

    The city’s Democracy Vouchers website also explains multiple ways to send yours in

    And here’s the list of which candidates are participating, so far:

  • Heartless? March 16, 2021 (2:16 pm)

    I wish our candidates would quit assuming we are all just as compassionate as they are.

  • namercury March 16, 2021 (4:16 pm)

    I really like Bruce.   I think it’s very important that he has lots of experience in Seattle Government.  He has the right understanding of the feasible with respect to the  liberal and conservative take on the issues.  Most of all he will interject an element of reasonableness. 

  • Pessoa March 16, 2021 (4:53 pm)

    I think he left out the part where he is supposed to promise a rainbow everyday.   Let me see if I can translate this “moderate” lingo:  “We won’t anger the the hometown union-busting Leviathan (Amazon) which plumps up real estate and stock portfolio’s, and we’ll try to keep the poor and downtrodden out of the way – in a city they will never be able to afford – with a few handouts, so they don’t ruin the views for the affluent.”   

  • Insertname March 16, 2021 (5:28 pm)

    Finally a candidate I would vote for has entered the race. 

    • 1994 March 16, 2021 (9:48 pm)

      Totally agree! The best announcement for mayor yet! and not sure it can be topped.

  • Dunno March 16, 2021 (5:57 pm)

    Coming from a WSU perspective, I’ll try not to hold against him that he played for the Washington Husky Football program.   Tough pill for Cougars to swallow.

  • Derek March 16, 2021 (5:59 pm)

    Hard pass. I’m voting for Colleen Echohawk. The only one with common sense.

  • CeeJay March 16, 2021 (6:40 pm)

    I really don’t understand the hatred for Amazon. They’ve provided a lot of people a lot of well paid individuals and they’ve driven up property values. Yeah, like any major company, Boeing included, there are bad parts and bad portions but you can’t say that Amazon hasn’t had a net overall good impact on Seattle. 

    • Derek March 16, 2021 (7:03 pm)

      They’ve decimated this city’s culture. They don’t pay their workers appropriately and definitely didn’t pay many of them hazard pay during COVID while some factory workers died from the virus. They also don’t pay their fair share in taxes. They’re awful in almost every way. I’m the opposite, I don’t see the love for them at all.

      • Joe Grande March 16, 2021 (7:37 pm)

        1). Why would any employer pay more than what people are willing to work for? If people are standing in line to work for Amazon or any employer for $12 an hour, why would I pay them $15?  I’m not saying the workers deserve more just saying they set their salary by signing on for low wages. 2) Beg to differ that Amazon doesn’t pay their fair share of taxes. They pay all that the law requires. Do you pay more income tax than the law requires?  Do you send in more?  You pay your share as determined by law and so does Amazon. 3) Amazon donates 10’s of millions a year to local and national agencies. They never get credit for that. 

        • WS neighbor March 16, 2021 (8:21 pm)

          Totally agree with you and Amazon’s position. The rest of us do not pay in taxes more than what is required.  And my guess is that the community does not contribute back to the community anything close to the what Amazon does. I am not a Prime Member. Just a casual neighborhood observer.  

        • Pessoa March 16, 2021 (11:11 pm)

          Joe Grande:  Maybe because it’s the right thing to do, regardless of the IRS code?  Maybe taking care of workers is more important than you getting your swoosh package the next day? Many companies, large and small, pay more than the prevailing wage and are still to retain a healthy profit for themselves, or shareholders.  In the larger picture, many of us, myself included, are worried about a behemoth that can dictate sectors of the economy, and the standard of working conditions including pay scale.     And no, Amazon should not be framed as a conservative verus liberal issue, because it isn’t;  it’s a problem of size and clout, both of which have no particular political label.  

      • Mel March 17, 2021 (9:35 am)

        I don’t understand the hate either. And to say they don’t pay well isn’t completely true. Their corporate employees (some 50,000 of them in this area) are paid VERY well. Most companies (mine included) are just trying to keep up with their salaries. We’re constantly losing employees to them. 

  • wscommuter March 16, 2021 (7:00 pm)

    I’m relieved to have a serious candidate for mayor who isn’t on the far left.  We aren’t going to get to any solutions to our problems with the only voices coming from the radical Sawant, etc. crowd.  

    • Derek March 16, 2021 (10:51 pm)

      Durkan was a centrist and she was the worst mayor in history. We need someone with compassion that cares about the homeless and not another crooked corporate lawyer. I’m actually a fan of Sawant and she is correct to tax Amazon and make developers pay for predatory building while home prices sky rocket right alongside homelessness.

      • wscommuter March 17, 2021 (12:56 pm)

        “and she was the worst mayor in history …”  Please do explain how/why … placing her in context with a couple of her predecessors (Ed Murray and his predator problem and Mike McGinn’s rank incompetence, just to name a couple), your comment is pretty ignorant.  But I suppose if you support Sawant, we already know all we need to know about you.   And that IS the divide … the far left folks like you who will run this city into the ground if given the chance to do so … or reasonable folks who actually try to … you know … solve problems.  We’ll see this fall which way the City will choose to go.    

      • CMT March 17, 2021 (3:45 pm)

        Honest question – How long have you lived in Seattle?  “Worst mayor in history” suggests that you haven’t lived here for many mayoral terms.

      • 1994 March 17, 2021 (8:11 pm)

        Worse then the former mayor who resigned because of child molestation issues? come on Derek – learn about Seattle history.

  • Kadoo March 16, 2021 (7:23 pm)

    Thanks heavens! We need you, Bruce. I’m so glad you’re running. 

  • Voter March 16, 2021 (7:50 pm)

    Bruce gets my vote

  • WSDUDEMAN March 16, 2021 (9:39 pm)

    Bruce has a few good ideas but his homelessness ideas will bring the same results we have now. Compassion works for people who have fallen through the cracks and want a way out, compassion doesn’t work for junkies and meth addicts. 

    • CAM March 17, 2021 (6:10 pm)

      You may be missing the point behind offering compassion. 

  • CAM March 17, 2021 (12:12 am)

    How short everyone’s memories are for the mad dash to vote for the reasonable moderate and pragmatic centrist who wasn’t beholden to.the radical whims of the city council 4 years ago and their subsequent distaste for everything that person has done in the name of achieving exactly those goals. Maybe we don’t need to be put down by the “adults in the room” anymore who keep setting us up for failure at every turn and then want to blame the people who aren’t in charge? 

  • anonyme March 17, 2021 (8:18 am)

    I read all of Harrell’s “open letter” with optimism, hoping to find a somewhat moderate candidate.  No such luck.  I’m not reading anything much different from the rest of the herd.  His approach to homelessness offers no new solutions, except that taxpayers will be encouraged to donate even more money on top of the millions already mandated and squandered in tax dollars.  I can’t think of anything crazier than giving any of the current councilmembers ten million dollars to do with as they would choose.  I’m also tired of the word “compassion” being used as a bludgeon to demand compliance with failed policies, much as GW used the word “patriot” to blackmail Americans into supporting the war in Iraq.  IMO, the current, fragmented approach to homelessness is part of the problem, not the solution.  Too many fingers in this very lucrative pie.  And forcing police officers to watch the Floyd video and then sign a document saying that they understand what happened is a no-no is simply a punitive, high-school-style stunt that does nothing to improve either policing or race relations.  Someone, please do better.

    • WSDUDEMAN March 17, 2021 (10:55 am)

      Well stated. My sentiments exactly.Compassion is necessary when dealing with our fellow citizens who have fallen through the cracks, many of whom might need mental health assistance. However, compassion doesn’t get you very far with junkies and meth addicts. We’ve given the later a free pass in this city in the name of compassion. At some point you have to call a spade a spade.

  • Joseph in West Seattle March 17, 2021 (9:18 am)

    Great news to hear this AM!  Go, Bruce!!!

  • anonyme March 19, 2021 (8:16 am)

    Since writing the above comment I’ve had a chance to do a bit more research on Harrell.  I was able to put some of what was contained in the ‘open letter’ in a slightly different perspective.   While I haven’t changed the views I expressed above (no candidate is perfect), Harrell looks to be a much more viable candidate than I’d originally believed.  Definitely more balanced than any of the other wack-a-doo’s running for mayor. 

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