ELECTION 2023: Your ballot is on the way to your mailbox. Here are four reasons to vote

It’s almost time to start voting in the 2023 primary. The official voters’ pamphlets have been arriving, and King County Elections mailed ballots today – 1.4 million of them. Some may call this an off-year election but in our area, it’s more important than it’s been in a long time, with the incumbents leaving all three district-specific positions – City Council District 1, County Council District 8, and School Board District 6. None is exclusively West Seattle, but our community comprises most of each district, and the outgoing incumbents are all West Seattleites, as are most of the candidates. In addition to those three races, your ballot also includes one major levy. So here’s the quick refresher on those four major reasons to vote:

Now expanded to include areas including Pioneer Square, Georgetown, and SODO, as well as WS and South Park

Lisa Herbold is giving up the seat after two terms. The eight primary candidates are (in surname-alphabetical order, and with each name linked to the campaign website):

Preston Anderson
Lucy Barefoot
Stephen Brown
Maren Costa
Jean Iannelli Craciun
Mia Jacobson
Rob Saka
Phil Tavel

The only forum with all eight was the one we presented in collaboration with the District 1 Community Network on June 6th. You can see the video – plus brief written summaries of the eight candidates’ responses to the 17 questions that were asked – by going here. Less than a week later, the 34th District Democrats presented a forum with five of the candidates; here’s our coverage, with video. And days after that, a coalition of mobility and sustainability-advocacy groups held a D-1 forum with four candidates and one candidate surrogate; here’s that video. In your Local Voters Pamphlet, the D-1 candidates start on page 35. You can also see all eight candidates in the city’s Video Voter Guide. (And if you want to explore who’s raised how much and from whom, this site is where to start.)

Areas including West Seattle, White Center, Vashon/Maury Islands, Burien

Joe McDermott is leaving this seat after 12 years. Candidates are:

Sofia Aragon
Teresa Mosqueda

The 34th DDs held a forum with Aragon and Mosqueda in June; here’s our coverage, including video. All three candidates are in the Local Voters Pamphlet on pages 17 and 18.

West Seattle and most of South Park

Leslie Harris is leaving this seat after two terms. Candidates are:

Rosie McCarter
Gina Topp
Maryanne Wood

This is a district-only vote in the primary, and then a citywide vote in the general. All three candidates are in the Local Voters Pamphlet, on pages 74 and 75. Only Topp participated in the Seattle Video Voter Guide.

Veterans, Seniors, and Human Services Levy

We reported on this measure here. In the Local Voters Pamphlet, you’ll find the summary and pro/con statements starting on page 78, and the full text starting on page 90. Want to see what it would cost you next year, compared to this year? Put your address into the King County Assessor’s Transparency Tool.

VOTING: The county predicts 35 percent turnout – you can prove that wrong. The four decisions above aren’t the only ones your ballot will ask you to make, but they’re the main ones. Voting starts as soon as you get your ballot, and you have until August 1st to vote and send your ballot back to KC Elections, either by getting it into an official ballot dropbox (they open tomorrow – here’s where to find them) by 8 pm that night, or by getting it into the USPS mail (no stamp needed) in time for a postmark no later than August 1st. In the contested races, the two candidates who get the most votes will advance to the November 7th general election (the city’s new voting method does NOT start this year).

46 Replies to "ELECTION 2023: Your ballot is on the way to your mailbox. Here are four reasons to vote"

  • Jeff July 13, 2023 (9:02 am)

    Maren Costa all the way! She won me over. Was between her and Saka for me. Tavel is yesterday’s news. Need new blood.  Tuesday I stood at Fauntleroy and 35th with Mosqueda and her crew and got lots and lots of honks! Love the support, she’s got my vote as well.

    • WestSeattleBadTakes July 13, 2023 (9:50 am)

      I am leaning toward Costa myself.Vote!

    • 937 July 13, 2023 (11:45 am)

      Mighta – till you mentioned Mosqueda.

      Interesting you would mention “new blood” out of the same mouth that said “voting for Mosqueda”.

      Costa appears to be a  Mosqeuda clone and the antithesis of the “new blood” you’re looking for.

      • Jeff July 13, 2023 (12:10 pm)

        She’s the one constant good to me. I am not a fan of Davison, Nelson, Harrell types. I think we need to change for the left side of these candidates. Not the other direction.  IMO we need to vote out Nelson and Davison ASAP. Tavel has ran and failed many times over now. It’s time to give up.

        • Canton July 14, 2023 (12:07 am)

          No. We need all perspectives involved, not just one particular view representing one ideology. Debate is a useful tool to get to a common ground. Without debate in negotiating laws, only one mindset prevails. How’s that been working?

      • Tim July 19, 2023 (1:20 pm)

        Agreed.  For starters, Mosqueda and her ilk are the reason my rent has doubled. All the landlords left, sold their rentals. Nowhere to go.  I’d go on but the list is too long. Mosqueda big thumbs down. She’ll do or say anything to keep her job, doing nothing that’s good for Seattle. Toss that bunch out!

        • James July 20, 2023 (9:59 am)

          “All the landlords left” really? You’re going with this obvious lie? I, too, love a world where we blame politicians, instead of Big Developers and landlords for the problems. It’s like blaming government for gas prices when it’s oil companies that deserve the scorn. 

          • Jessie August 1, 2023 (4:03 am)

            The politicians are the one who let the large corporations and developers in and pass the laws governing them. The large developers can be forced to include low income residences in every building they build in the city. The current council has not done this. The developers know that it is cheaper to pay a miniscule fine. The city council can and should make the fines for not including low income housing in their buildings more significant for one thing. But also no building permits for new, office buildings, hotels, or luxury apartments should be granted without very strict Low income housing requirements guaranteed and inforced.

  • lucy July 13, 2023 (10:20 am)

    Are any of them the least bit conservative?  Because that would add true diversity to the city counsel.

    • WSB July 13, 2023 (10:33 am)

      Decide for yourself – we’ve provided many links in the story that you can use to read about and/or see/hear the candidates, including our written summaries of all eight council candidates’ replies to all 17 questions asked in our June forum.

    • WestSeattleBadTakes July 13, 2023 (11:22 am)

      You definitely strike me as a sincere voter who works to understand the issues and how best to solve them.

    • Scarlett July 14, 2023 (12:34 pm)

      Lucy: Is there really a qualitative difference between the two parties?  I’m beginning to see less and less of a difference with each passing day.  I think both are much more alike than they care to admit.  

  • CC July 13, 2023 (10:38 am)

    Goodspaceguy is such a pox on this city.

    • anonyme July 13, 2023 (12:58 pm)

      This time around, I would actually prefer Good Space Guy to his competitors.

      • Eric1 July 13, 2023 (2:19 pm)

        While I agree GoodSpaceGuy is a joke and has no proven track record, I would agree he seems like where my vote is going. Mosqueda and Aragon not shown any ability to run a city and they want to step up to the county level? One should note that neither gave up their current jobs showing that even they lack confidence in their abilities to lead them to victory. Why would anyone vote for them? This is one time I can honestly say the joker might do less damage than either of the devils you know. 

        • helpermonkey July 20, 2023 (3:55 pm)

          the joker might do less damage than either of the devils you know” – yeah, a lot of people thought that back in 2016, and look where we are now. Go ahead and throw your vote away and see where it gets us. 

  • lucy July 13, 2023 (11:13 am)

    I did and I have researched.  Every candidate has  a slightly different version of the same ultra progressive policies that have gotten us to our current state.   No one is advocating for the rule of law or personal responsibility.  None of these candidates encourages independence from the ever growing nanny state.  They all mouth the same platitudes.  

    • WestSeattleBadTakes July 13, 2023 (11:57 am)

      No one is advocating for the rule of law or personal responsibility.  None of these candidates encourages independence from the ever growing nanny state.

      In your view. How will these positions help solve the issues we’re facing?

    • Mr J July 13, 2023 (12:23 pm)

      None of these candidates are ultra-progressive – I also have no idea what you could even mean by that. They’re all moderates and not pushing anything radical. I don’t know what kind of nanny state you think we have but time and time everyone seems to prove they can’t employ critical thinking skills so the government needs to create rules and guidance and as many on here would say “law and order”. 

    • Jason July 13, 2023 (12:25 pm)

      Nanny state? Please get serious. You think throwing poor people in jail over small crimes (because that’s how hyperpoverty works) is what we should be doing? Please go back to the Reagan 80s while the rest of us live in reality. We need safety nets for the impoverished, not jail cells. I will be voting Maren Costa. About the only candidate who gets it.

      • Terry Pierce July 15, 2023 (5:36 pm)

        You think the city/county/state are in a better place than they were in the 80’s ? I’ve lived in West Seattle my entire life, 72 years and I can say unequivocally that all are in a downward spiral. Enabling drug addicts, not prosecuting and incarcerating repeat criminals are destroying our city and our quality of life.

    • Lagartija Nick July 13, 2023 (1:54 pm)

      Conservatives are the antithesis of law and order. How many indictments has the former president racked up now? Almost half of the republicans in Congress tried to foment insurrection and a coup. The entire apparatus of the GQP is working hard on keeping their frontrunner out of prison. And House congressional committees are illegally and unethically trying to smear the president and his son. You can’t hide behind “law and order” anymore, your entire party has been exposed as the crooks, con artists and frauds that they are.

  • Anne July 13, 2023 (11:25 am)

    Big NO  for Mosqueda-right now  I’m also no for Costa.from her website: no specifics on  HOW she intends to address especially mental illness & substance abuse disorder. We all know they are problems -what are her proposed solutions?  What does “ we can lead with common sense & compassion and refuse to tolerate  harmful behavior” mean in real substantive solutions.? Sure sounds good though doesn’t it? 

  • susie July 13, 2023 (12:03 pm)

    AND they will all say what they think the PEOPLE want to hear then once elected…well..look at where we all are currently at!🤥

  • Seattlite July 13, 2023 (12:04 pm)

    TAVEL all of the way.  He is the only candidate that points out the current city council’s failures: 1.  after spending millions the current council still has a homeless crisis;  2. no agreement to correct SPD’s police officer shortage.  Tavel emphasizes safety for Seattleites which goes back to taking control of the homeless population crisis by addressing mental illness/drugs on the streets/criminal behavior and taking control of prolific crime by increasing SPD’s police officer staff.  Tavel seems to want to do what a politician is voted into office to do:   WORK FOR THE VOTERS!  Much of Seattle’s continual ongoing problems are due to not working for the voters but instead working for a political agenda.

  • Graciano July 13, 2023 (4:23 pm)

    Which candidates will return law and order to Seattle ?

    • WSB July 13, 2023 (5:04 pm)

      If you look at the link in the story to coverage of our June forum, you will specifically see their answers to “will you be the ‘law and order candidate’? why/why not?”

      • momosmom July 13, 2023 (6:30 pm)

        Most political candidate’s  will say what they think the people want to hear just to get themselves elected…so we shall see how they “stick to their answers” from the June forum and going forward. Time will tell.

    • Derek July 15, 2023 (5:40 pm)

      So you want to return to a system that locks up more POCs than after? We saw SPD’s profiling statistics. These are who would fill the jails under “law and order.” Costa understands the root causes is economic disparity and not drugs. She gets my vote.

      • Canton July 17, 2023 (12:11 am)

        Whoever commits the crime should do their time. All crime should be judged with the same lens.

        • Derek July 17, 2023 (8:39 am)

          The problem is “what” is the crime. If the crime is just being poor, no, those people should not do time. Throwing addicts in jail is how we are in this mess. Doing drugs shouldn’t be a crime. “Law and order” doesn’t work. Texas jails addicts and have high crime still. All you do is move the goal posts of crime. Fix root causes.

        • Scarlett July 17, 2023 (9:04 am)

          What magical world is that which you’re describing, Canton?  Wealth buys justice.   Wealth determines whether you get an over-worked public defender or a $200/hr attorney in a swanky hi-rise.  

  • Mike July 13, 2023 (8:12 pm)

    #momosmom said it best!  My neighbor was a religious Herbold supporter, and after she was elected I had a “your right” moment.  Something has to change, the open drug usage is not a homeless problem.  It’s a substance abuse/mental issue problem.  Can we find a solution without knowing/admitting the root cause?  I don’t see another way other than involuntary committment, hate to say it but these people are sick, shelter/housing will not work and has not worked #definationofinsanity 

  • Raye July 14, 2023 (1:35 am)

    At least people are debating here and doing some research; that’s promising. Sadly, in some cases, he (or she) who has the most yard/street signs wins.P.S. I could debate the validity of the oft-cited “definition of insanity,” but that’s straying from the main point. 

  • KaseyFam July 14, 2023 (10:02 pm)

    Tavel and Saka have the best ideas and articulation.  Also they both have actual history in the neighborhood.
    This Anderson guy has no history in the neighborhood, he was apparently just running for a Tacoma council previously (and lost) so just jumping around chasing some personal political goal. Um. No thanks!

    • derek July 17, 2023 (10:59 am)

      Saka is a bigger grifter than Anderson IMO. He’s a dem think tank guy that will bow down to his sponsor. Tavel couldn’t even answer simple questions by any alt media in town. He’s not articulate.

  • Alki resident July 15, 2023 (12:28 pm)

    Costa is a firm NO. She advocated to the city council to vote Against adopting the state drug law, which we all know Herbold and others did. She’s just another progressive, no better than Herbold! 

    • Derek July 15, 2023 (5:30 pm)

      Some us agree with Herbold and Costa’s position. Firm YES to Costa!

      • Canton July 16, 2023 (1:19 am)

        Some of us don’t agree with Herbold and her ideology. She seemed to only care about pumping funding into the HIC(homeless industrial complex). We need better leaders 

        • derek July 17, 2023 (10:58 am)

          Canton, what is “HIC” you say it like it’s a corporation. So we should just not spend to help the poor and let people die in the streets? That’s your position? Geeze it bothers me you are a neighbor of mine potentially. Scary that people think like this.

  • Scarlett July 17, 2023 (8:55 am)

    You all have your taxpayer-funded “industrial complexes.” Most of you have been happy to profit off a grotesquely un-free market economy and and then you scantimoniously point the finger at each other.  None of you have the decency to examine how much of that dollar in your wallet is subsidized or extracted from someone else’s wallet unfairly.  But you all sure  have an endless supply of childish and sanctimonious bromides and platitudes about how the world works.   But do you care? No.    

    • derek July 18, 2023 (2:55 pm)

      Scarlett is so spot on. “Homeless industrial complex” like the alternative isn’t “Police industrial complex” or “military industrial complex” or “prison industrial complex”…..

  • Madmatt July 23, 2023 (5:26 pm)

    I like Anderson in theory.  Costa is intelligent  but aligns with Mosqueda.  Mosqueda is a definite NoNo. We certainly do not need a another soft on crime at county level.  

    • Jeff July 24, 2023 (11:58 am)

      “Soft on crime” you mean filling up the jails with poor people? What is this? 1980 all over again? It does not work. 

  • Walterego July 24, 2023 (7:45 am)

    In response to this question at the MLK Labor Forum: “Do you believe it was a mistake for the Seattle City Council to pledge to defund the Seattle Police Department by 50%” during the 2020 protests?” Maren Costa unequivocally said, “NO”. That stance tells me all I need to know about Costa’s view on public safety. Vote NO on Costa.

  • Voter July 25, 2023 (3:48 pm)

    KASEYFAM  – What history does  Saka have in the neighborhood? 

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