The fourth candidate to announce a campaign for the Seattle City Council District 1 seat is the first one who’s run for it before. Twice, in fact. Phil Tavel has just announced he’s running again. In 2015, Tavel finished third in the nine-candidate primary; in 2019, he made it to the general-election ballot, but Lisa Herbold won a second term. Now she is leaving the council and Tavel is making a third run for the job. He is a lawyer and administrative-law judge and former small-business owner who lives in Arbor Heights. According to his announcement (which you can read in full here), Tavel says he would “bring a deep passion for neighborhood small businesses to City Council, as well as nearly 20 years of working in the Criminal Justice System helping those in need. … As an Administrative Law judge and public defense attorney, I’ve seen how local government is failing all of us – especially our most vulnerable. Seattle City Council needs to stop saying ‘yes’ to everything and re-focus on the basics, like keeping our neighborhoods clean, safe, and prosperous for all. … Seattle deserves a City Council that is committed to delivering on its most fundamental promises.” His announcement notes that a new contract with Seattle’s police union “is now more than two-years overdue and must be finalized before we can even start to rebuild our police force.” In the announcement, Tavel also says, “The City must repair its broken system of public outreach and neighborhood councils so that City Leaders can more easily hear the concerns and thoughts of those people that they are meant to be serving.” We plan to talk with Tavel later this week for our next Council Candidate Chat – watch for that Sunday night (March 5th). He’s also having a campaign-kickoff event at Admiral Pub (2306 California SW) at 6 pm Friday, March 10th.
Tavel is the fourth candidate to send an official campaign announcement, after Rob Saka earlier this month and Maren Costa and Preston Anderson last month. Formal filing week is May 15-19, so the field of candidates won’t be finalized until then; the primary election is August 1st.
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