ELECTION 2023: 34th District Democrats’ endorsements, headlined by City Council D-1 choice

In a three-hour online meeting that concluded an hour ago, our area’s largest political organization – the 34th District Democrats – made their pre-primary endorsement decisions. Here’s how that shook out in the three major local races for which the incumbents aren’t running again:

SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT 1: With almost 200 members in attendance, the group nominated four of the eight candidates for consideration. That first vote ended with Rob Saka at 50 percent, Maren Costa 24.6 percent, Phil Tavel 11.9 percent, and Preston Anderson 11.1 percent. 60 percent is required to win an endorsement, so this went to a second ballot between Saka and Costa; he won the sole endorsement with 63.7 percent. (For context, departing incumbent Lisa Herbold won the 34th DDs’ endorsement four years ago, and they gave a dual endorsement to her and Shannon Braddock in the first D-1 election back in 2015.)

KING COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 8: Two of the three candidates for the position Joe McDermott is leaving were nominated for consideration. Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda just missed winning the endorsement by coming in a fraction of a point below 60 percent. The group then voted on whether to dual-endorse Mosqueda and Burien Mayor Sofia Aragon, but decided on “no endorsement” instead. They’ll be able to reconsider for the November general election.

SEATTLE SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 8: Only one candidate was nominated for consideration out of the three vying for the seat Leslie Harris is leaving. Gina Topp (a former 34th DDs chair) got the nod.

ALSO OF NOTE: The 34th DDs took various other endorsement votes but weren’t scheduled to vote on whether to endorse the Veterans, Seniors, & Human Services Levy. County Executive Dow Constantine moved to bring it up, noting that ballots will be in the mail by the time the group meets again July 12th. After voting to allow a vote, attendees endorsed the levy.

29 Replies to "ELECTION 2023: 34th District Democrats' endorsements, headlined by City Council D-1 choice"

  • tim June 14, 2023 (10:52 pm)

    Yawn. What they want and what they’re gonna get will be fun to watch. Dem bloodbath coming.

    • James June 15, 2023 (7:20 am)

      Bloodbath? lol no don’t think so.  Also Rob Saka is the best fit, IMO, despite these endorsements. Tavel is yesterday’s news and status quo. He’s tried and failed so many times now. That’s a YAWN to me.

      • Pdiddy June 15, 2023 (11:27 am)

        Sounds to me like this is a meaningless vote. it should go to the main ballot to decide. Is ranked choice going to be in effect this year? Glad Herebold and Sawant are going away. Disappointed with the recent vote on open view drug law. I dont think Saka took a position on this in the early stuff. Did he lean one way? Personally I think Tavel or a few others are better fit.

      • Adam June 15, 2023 (7:26 pm)

        Phil is “status quo”? I can’t tell if you’re serious and just haven’t been paying attention, or if you’re so scared he’ll win that you’re doing an unrequested re-branding of him. Status quo is Herbold, he’s nothing like Herbold. Please explain or shrink into the bushes with Homer. 

  • Sixbuck June 14, 2023 (10:53 pm)

    Thank you for letting me know who/what to not vote for. 

  • Danimal June 14, 2023 (11:48 pm)

    The VERY LAST thing District 1, and the City of Seattle as a whole needs, is more of the same ilk as Lisa Herbold. We do not need to vote for “card-carrying,” uber-liberal Democrats. If more of the same hand-wringing, money-wasting, drug-addled citizen coddling governance is what you want, then by all means, continue to drive nails into the City of Seattle. If you want sensible governance, fiscal responsibility and oversight, compassionate care including mandatory drug addiction treatment and criminal accountability, then ignore the recommendations of this group and vote with your brain and intelligence, and not your emotions.

  • Sean Wiggs June 15, 2023 (1:02 am)

    This is the same 34th District Democrats that gave us Ed Murray (rest in peace, victim DH) and Durkan (also has blood on her hands). 34th District continues their record of back room deals and disregarding what is best for the residents of West Seattle and Seattle as a whole. Very sad indeed.

  • Jon June 15, 2023 (4:09 am)

    So, effectively more of the same for D34. What else is new?

  • wssz June 15, 2023 (5:21 am)

    That Tavel didn’t rank right up there with Saka doesn’t make any sense. Both are far more knowledgeable and prepared than any of the other candidates. Do they even have a consistent criteria to evaluate the candidates? 

    • n June 15, 2023 (10:29 am)

      Each candidate was nominated by someone seconded by another 34th dem member then they had 2 mins to either speak on the behalf of the candidate and give that 2 mins to the candidate themselves to speak. Then everyone in attendance could vote via a pole or by text.The only criteria to attend:  you had to declare you are a democrat and join the 34th dems before May 9th.Around 180 people were on the zoom at the time of the vote for endorsement, each of them having already made up their mind before the speeches is my take.  Basically, it seems how you win this endorsement is you stock the room with your supporters. 

      • admyrlbyrd June 15, 2023 (7:36 pm)

        Thanks for the detailed response.  Your assessment is correct and – in addition to the process – the numbers make it look like a statistically insignificant sample size, so it can’t really even represent “Democrats”.  Sounds more like the Wildly Left Booster’s Club.

  • anonyme June 15, 2023 (6:06 am)

    Are there really many voters these days who rely on a political organization to make their voting decisions for them?  I’m not voting for any of these people or the levy.  The opinions of these members are meaningless, IMO.

  • Walterego June 15, 2023 (6:44 am)

    Congratulations Rob Saka on earning the 34th District Democrats endorsement! I’ve gotten to know Rob over the last year as a friend and fellow Delridge neighbor and his fresh vision and approach to the City Council is much welcomed.

    • Jordan June 15, 2023 (10:20 am)

      I liked Rob a lot more before this endorsement. The 33rd and 34th District Dems have become more extreme with each election. Their endorsement decisions or lack thereof this cycle appear to continue this trend. Rob appeared to me to be the most moderate option along with Phil. The fact he got their endorsement makes me think Tavel is now the only option of a candidate who is even remotely a moderate. 

  • Seattlite June 15, 2023 (7:28 am)

    Hmmmmmm….NO.   I watched a couple of video interviews of Saka.  Saka never gives specifics on how he is going to FIX Seattle’s problems.  In one interview with WSB, Saka said Seattle needs to hire the “right kind” of police officer.  What does that mean?  I remember that a man running for mayor said he was going to FIX Seattle’s police officer shortage and make Seattle’s streets safer.  I am still waiting.  Along with other Seattleites that I know, we all want to have candidates who are not ideologically-driven but want to make policies and decisions that are in the BEST interests of Seattleites on ALL levels.

    • Lucas June 15, 2023 (1:50 pm)

      I mean we all want the “right kind”, but yeah what does that mean? Do they need to sign DEI loyalty pledges to be cops or do they need to like…be good cops? Cause they’re not really the same thing. I’m very dubious of someone in local politics talking about racism as a primary issue in SEATTLE of all places.  This isn’t Kentucky, I think there’s way more important things that making sure someone puts another “In this house we believe…” thing in their front yard

    • Westie June 16, 2023 (8:08 am)

      Agree. Specifics are important.  I thought Costa was better at that, at least less hyperbole.

  • Scarlett June 15, 2023 (8:30 am)

    The world is run by those with convictions and the courage to put them into action, whether you agree with them or not.  All the rest is impotent sniping from the peanut gallery.   

    • Gaslit June 15, 2023 (11:45 am)

      So, do you endorse the actions and words of Donald Trump? He has his convictions and certainly had the “courage” to put them into action. Is calling out his abuse of power just impotent sniping? Many people in Seattle see local politicians as abusive, unfair and deceptive. Just like Donald Trump. Is it an accident that the two wealthier candidates are the two finalists for the endorsement? Should this and all other corruption be called out? Or, should we just call people who ask for accountability names? 

  • Lucy June 15, 2023 (11:36 am)

    If you really want diversity on the City Council, there needs to be 2-3 conservatives.

    • Rhonda June 15, 2023 (12:41 pm)

      You’re 100% right. There’s ZERO diversity now, which is why Seattle is teetering on the brink.

    • Ivan Weiss June 15, 2023 (3:48 pm)

      In case you haven’t noticed, most conservatives who run in Seattle don’t get elected.

      • Adam June 15, 2023 (7:30 pm)

        Everyone notices. I think that’s the point. Also, while it would add to diversity on the council, the fact we talk Dems vs Reps, Left vs Right, Conservatives vs Liberals means we not only think the world is black and white and always two choices, we’ve allowed those two sides to do the thinking for us. There’s no way that half the country thinks one particular way, all of em, and the other half is the same but just the opposite opinions. Doesn’t make sense so why do we do it?

      • AdmyrlByrd June 15, 2023 (7:34 pm)

        You mean don’t make it to the November ballot.

  • K June 15, 2023 (12:26 pm)

    I got a marketing email from him yesterday prior to this meeting, asking for his endorsement at the meeting. I had attended a 34th Dems endorsement meeting 4 years ago and had an awful experience (first and last time!), so had been requested to be removed from their mailing list. They did, but I still got an email from Rob. 

  • Fiwa Jcbbb June 16, 2023 (11:15 am)

    Met Phil Tavel at his campaign kickoff at Easy Street Records when he ran against Lisa last election cycle. I’d had quite enough of Lisa’s “Yes, our taxes are the most regressive in the land, but we really need this” approach…to everything. The Stranger had just labelled him “A Republican”, which is laughable, but far too many vote with their Stranger Cheat Sheet. No one wants Republicans, they’ve been ruining America since 1980, but we do need better Democrats. As evidenced by our City Council. Phil does a trivia night at Talarico on Wednesdays. Go talk to him. If you do ANY research at all, you’ll be better informed than the Stranger Cheat Sheet.

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