4:12 PM: In her weekly newsletter/blog post, West Seattle/South Park City Councilmember Lisa Herbold just announced, “I will not be running for re-election in 2023.” She is completing her second term as the first-ever District 1 council representative, elected in 2015 and then re-elected in 2019. Herbold explains her decision in part as follows: “The 2022 elections last month were good for progressives. I feel like it’s time to do my part to create an open seat election in District 1. I believe that an open seat can better drive turnout and deliver District 1 to another progressive. … I love and honor the work the progressive left has done in Seattle and I don’t want to do anything that makes it less likely for a non-progressive to be elected to represent the great District 1. I will continue to represent and advocate for District 1 over the next year. We’ve still got a lot of work to do!” Starting with next year’s election, D-1 covers more ground, such as Georgetown and SODO, because of the recent redistricting. (WSB photo from pre-bridge-reopening event, September)
8:02 PM: We should note that – even before this – we’d been watching the state Public Disclosure Commission website, where campaigns are registered in the early stages, and to date no one has registered a D-1 campaign. As for whether anyone is inspired to jump in based on Herbold’s early announcement, we’ll see next week. We’ve sent inquiries to the two men who challenged Herbold in the 2019 primaries, Brendan Kolding and Phil Tavel, to see if either is considering running again.
10:02 PM: We’ve heard back from Tavel, who says:
I have never lost my desire to serve this city, and even before Lisa’s announcement, this was a topic of conversation at our family dinner table. I truly wish the best for Lisa Herbold and I thank her for her service. I will say that I have been humbled by the number of people who have reached out to me today to ask if I intend to run, or to encourage me to run. At this point, I have not made any official decisions. Stay tuned. I do hope for a warm, safe and joyous holiday season for everyone.
In 2015, Tavel finished third in a nine-candidate primary, behind Herbold and Shannon Braddock; in 2019, he made it to the general against Herbold, with 44% to her 56%.
ADDED 11:56 PM: We’ve also now heard back from Kolding, who says:
I ran for City Council in 2019 because I felt called to lead. Seattle was experiencing crises in the areas of homelessness and public safety and I sought to introduce a new approach to these issues. During the campaign, I was inspired by the support I received. Although I did not make it out of the primary, I established myself as a viable candidate. There are people in this community who look to me for leadership, and that is something I take very seriously.
The issues that inspired me to run four years ago remain. I am frustrated by the glacial pace at which our region is responding to the homelessness crisis. I am saddened by the SPD staffing crisis and have taken great offense to the manner in which some members of the Council have treated police officers over these last few years. I am also sensitive to the struggles our small business community has faced. I am committed to doing what I can to solve these issues. Whether that be by running for office in 2023 or by supporting another reasonable candidate remains to be seen. Either way, I will be actively involved with the next election and vocal in local media.
I wish Councilmember Herbold all the best in her future endeavors. She and I do not see eye-to-eye on much, but we hold and defend our values with equal fervor. The solution to the problems our city is facing is for people of differing ideologies to seek to understand each other and to collaborate for the common good.