ELECTION 2023: Five of the six Seattle City Council District 1 candidates who didn’t make the cut endorse one of the two who did

5:48 PM: Tomorrow, King County Elections certifies results of the August 1st primary. The two candidates advancing to the November 7th general in the Seattle City Council District 1 race will be Maren Costa and Rob Saka. Just out of the WSB inbox, five of the six candidates who aren’t advancing have sent an “open letter” saying they all are endorsing Costa:

An Open Letter to Seattle’s District One Residents,

We, the undersigned, Seattle City Council District One candidates, proud residents of West Seattle, passionate believers in the future of our great city, hereby endorse our one-time opponent Maren Costa to be the next Seattle City Council member representing District One.

We endorse Maren for the same reason we sought the office; we love Seattle and we want to see it thrive.

Over these intense past five months of campaigning, Maren has shown herself to be a serious, caring, quick study. Her growth on the campaign trail was evident to all of us. She found her voice in the truest sense. She learned how to be real in public, and we can attest, that is no small feat. At every forum, debate or community event, Maren was there – showing up with authenticity, humor and self-effacing charm. What you see is what you get; no “consultancy speak” – just Maren.

She has experience fighting for justice and a better world. She has management skills and a healthy dollop of guile gleaned in the cutthroat grind of high tech. She has the persistence and patience of a parent and a partner.

This group endorsement is more notable because some of us have non-trivial policy differences with Maren on some of the issues that dominated this campaign season. But, in spite of those differences, we believe Maren’s openness, transparency and candor make her more likely than her general election opponent to be a successful collaborator on the Seattle City Council.


Phillip Tavel
Administrative Law Judge

Preston Anderson

Stephen Brown
President, Eltana Bagels

Lucy Barefoot
Outreach Specialist, Office of the Secretary of State of Washington

Mia Jacobson

We received the letter from Tavel, who says he is the group’s spokesperson (and we’re asking him a few followup questions). The only primary candidate not on the list is Jean Iannelli Craciun.

8:46 PM: First a note – we’ve corrected Tavel’s profession and first-name spelling, which were erroneous in what was originally sent to us. Meantime, we asked Tavel for a little more on how the group endorsement came about; he said he, Anderson, and Brown were talking post-election and agreed that they felt “District 1 would be in considerably better hands with Maren”; they invited the others to join them, including Craciun, who did not sign the letter, Tavel says, because “she had already endorsed Maren and… was the first to do so.” (Costa also says Craciun had previously endorsed her.) Meantime, Saka’s campaign has sent a news release reacting to the group endorsement, saying he “expressed his deep shock and dismay with the decision of his former opponents to endorse Costa, a move he believes contradicts the spirit of change and progress that their campaigns initially advocated for” and quoting him as calling the group endorsement a “political stunt.” … (added) Costa, meantime, told us when we asked for comment on the group endorsement, “I was quite surprised and thankful for my fellow candidates’ support. We all got to know each other quite well on the campaign trail. Good group.”

161 Replies to "ELECTION 2023: Five of the six Seattle City Council District 1 candidates who didn't make the cut endorse one of the two who did"

  • Ivan Weiss August 14, 2023 (5:55 pm)

    For the record, Craciun has endorsed Costa separately. So it’s unanimous.

    • Jort August 14, 2023 (7:30 pm)

      Democracy in action, it’s just so wonderful to watch. If we take all the votes from the losing candidates and put them in Costa’s column, we’ll see that she’ll walk away with about 75 percent of the vote! Tough news for Bruce “Why Aren’t You Applauding My Greatness?” Harrell and the publisher of the Seattle Times. I highly doubt it, but it might be worth some introspection among some of the reflexively-reactive commentariat of this very fine blog that Maren Costa is not, in fact, a city-“destroying” Godzilla who will personally park three dilapidated RVs in front of every home worth more than $500,000 in West Seattle or plow over Lincoln Park for an RV waste dumping ground. I’m pleasantly surprised to see Phil Tavel unite behind the candidate who is best for West Seattle, and not Rob Saka, a former corporate lawyer for Facebook, who will really need to “double-click” into this conundrum. Maybe Saka can hire some McKinsey consultants and they can consulto-babble at each other into some solutions?

      • SoConfused August 14, 2023 (8:11 pm)

        What are you trying to say? I’m having a hard time following your point through all the hyperbole and editorial.

        • Delridge420 August 14, 2023 (10:17 pm)

          Saka is terrible for the job, hope that helps!

        • WTF August 14, 2023 (11:07 pm)

          Just vote for someone who will actually DO SOMETHING. That’s what that says.

      • Pdavis August 15, 2023 (4:33 am)

        I highly disagree and disrespect your characterization of Mayor Harrell.  Personally, he is almost single-handedly, saved Seattle from the trash heap that Portland became..  I one hundred percent disagree with your nasty point of view! 

      • WS native August 16, 2023 (7:15 am)

        walk us all through there you get your info keyboard warrior. i disagree with everything you have said and thankfully that’s not the way democracy works. we get to all vote again. and stop dissing harrell. he can only do much with the city council hand he has been dealt.

  • RJ August 14, 2023 (6:35 pm)

    Did not see that coming. Saka must have really made an impression on his fellow candidates.

  • Kadoo August 14, 2023 (6:53 pm)

    If you like the mess we are in sure go ahead and vote for Costa. Saka has the same concerns I have about the state of this city and he has my vote. 

    • Delridge420 August 14, 2023 (11:23 pm)

      It’s weird how all of Saka’s suddenly die-hard supporters can’t articulate any actual policy position for why they support him other than some vague sense of change. Which I guess is fitting for someone running a policy-free campaign.

      • WS native August 16, 2023 (7:20 am)

        It’s weird how all of Costa’s suddenly die-hard supporters can’t articulate any actual policy position for why they support her other than some vague sense of change. Which I guess is fitting for someone running a policy-free campaign.

    • WS Citizen August 15, 2023 (8:07 am)

      Here here. Why do people want the same thing again? 

  • WS Res August 14, 2023 (6:59 pm)


  • Felix Grounds August 14, 2023 (7:05 pm)

    Oh my…What a conundrum for all the Tavel voters.

    • heartless August 14, 2023 (7:18 pm)

      What Tavel voters?

      (I kid, I kid! Well, sorta.)

      • WSB August 14, 2023 (7:35 pm)

        Though the certification isn’t until tomorrow, today’s count is pretty much final:

        Maren Costa 8,784 33.14 %
        Rob Saka 6,392 24.11 %
        Phil Tavel 5,323 20.08 %
        Preston Anderson 2,220 8.37 %
        Stephen Brown 1,658 6.25 %
        Jean Iannelli Craciun 838 3.16 %
        Lucy Barefoot 767 2.89 %
        Mia Jacobson 472 1.78 %

        Our district had 36 percent turnout, beating the countywide 30 percent.

  • Anita WS August 14, 2023 (7:12 pm)

    But… why? Seriously. I was a Brown voter, with Tavel as a close second because something has to change. Costa will be more of the same. 

    • Jort August 14, 2023 (7:32 pm)

      If you’d like to learn more about why, I would recommend reading the letter from the candidates, who make it clear in no uncertain terms that Rob Saka is a serious and pressing threat to the city if he is elected. Never fall in love with your heroes, I suppose. 

      • Rhonda August 14, 2023 (7:46 pm)

        Sad that there seems to be so much thinly-veiled racism against Saka, as he’s more than qualified for the job.

        • Delridge420 August 14, 2023 (10:07 pm)

          Or maybe people aren’t comfortable with the mayor’s handpicked lackey that can’t answer a direct question. Pathetic to bring race into this.

          • WTF August 14, 2023 (11:10 pm)


          • Pdavis August 15, 2023 (10:35 am)

            Obviously, the city council that we have had has played a huge role in dragging Seattle down into a trash heap.   Thankfully, Mayor Harrell managed to pull forward and get the city Council’s DESTRUCTION  of Seattle, toned down.  As you can see by the city Council’s vote of weakening our capacity to fight the deeo deep drug problems we are immersed in:  our Mayor  Harrell  stuck with it, despite the stupid city council ,  is still trying to deal with these loser drug addicts that are causing grave harm in Seattle.  Many of us are deeply grateful for.Mayor Harrell’s focus and courage to try to pull Seattle out of the slime trash pit It became after the riots, idiot Mayor Jenny Durkin, and the city Council that threw Seattle in the garbage while supporting drug addicts and losers.  I hope city council gets fully replaced with someone who actually gives a damn about Seattle.

          • WS native August 16, 2023 (7:18 am)

            race does play into this and you are showing your colors. we have a black mayor who is doing a fine job and many of us would like Saka in there as well because he will do a good job as well. other than a bunch of hyperbole from you and jort i haven’t heard anything concrete as to why Saka is not better other than you deflecting racial issues.

        • Arbor Heights Resident August 14, 2023 (10:28 pm)

          Not the issue Rhonda. 

        • Jort August 15, 2023 (8:25 am)

          I’m curious if you could help expand on what you mean by “thinly-veiled racism” here? I’m curious to have you explain what you mean by that; please, do let us know. I think it would really help us understand what you mean if you could really, really explain that.

          • WS Native August 16, 2023 (7:30 am)

            OK I’ll make it easy for you. Saka is african american. So is Harrell. You don’t like Harrell and you also don’t like Saka but you much prefer the white candidate (like the previous white candidate for more of the same). Is that easy enough?

          • Delridge420 August 16, 2023 (11:01 pm)

            So you’re saying anyone who voted against Gonzalez in the mayor’s race is anti-Latino? 

        • The truth August 15, 2023 (8:58 pm)

          Isn’t preston also a person of color?  I don’t think he would endorse a letter with veiled racism.

      • Anita WS August 14, 2023 (7:50 pm)

        Uh, that’s not what the letter says. At. All. 

      • Peter August 15, 2023 (8:18 am)

        The letter does not say that.

    • heartless August 14, 2023 (7:36 pm)

      Just spit-ablling here, but maybe…

      Because they love Seattle and want to see it thrive?

      Because Maren has shown herself to be a serious, caring, quick study?

      I could go on…

      • WS Citizen August 15, 2023 (8:08 am)

        A quick study? We need someone ready to go. Costa is a fired Amazon employee who is figuring it out as she goes. Not impressive 

        • Jay August 15, 2023 (9:34 am)

          So your main point is that she was fired by the evil megacorp abusing its monopoly power to take over supply chains and destroy small businesses while lowering the overall working conditions, wages, and quality of life of Americans? That’s supposed to be a big insult?

          • Admyrl Byrd August 15, 2023 (5:25 pm)

            Quality of life for many Americans has improved by Amazon, not only by the convenience, but by the construction and jobs.  Not sure why all the Sawant acolytes like to vilify success, but you give progressives a bad name as a result.    

    • Josh August 14, 2023 (8:47 pm)

      To me I think it’s because she came across as more informed by the day, able to elucidate a response without resorting to corporate non speak, had a clear history of standing up for what’s right even if it exposed her to personal risk. I noticed over time that while Saka initially came across well it seemed obvious he doesn’t seem to stand for anything but was just changing with the wind to say what he thought people wanted to hear. He seems unserious. I also personally got insight into his likely being unfit for office when I made silly joke about how allegedly coaching little league does not make someone the best person to represent a district and his wife began threatening and harassing me via a children’s sports team communication app. Mostly though she actually has policy positions and is able to state them. And they sound like largely fine ideas.  For these reasons it seems Costa is the obvious choice.  

      • TBD August 15, 2023 (8:15 am)

        I am not sure who I am going to vote for but there is one thing that I can say for certain – I am not going to vote for Tavel again EVER. I actually donated to his campaign and would have understood if he released a statement that he is endorsing Costa.  But to organize a group letter  wreaks of being a sore loser and general a—–e-ness I don’t need in any candidate. Looking forward to some debates between Costa and Saka.

        • Phillip Tavel August 15, 2023 (6:50 pm)

          Hey TBD. Just to let you know, I didn’t organize the letter. I sat down with Preston and Stephen to talk about the election and discuss what they thought about Maren and Rob and if they had considered endorsing either one. We agreed that we were all going to endorse Maren because we thought that she was a better choice and we all had concerns about Rob. Stephen and Preston reached out to Mia, Jean and Lucy. Mia and Lucy agreed that they wanted to endorse Maren as well, and Jean said that she already had endorsed Maren. In the end, the three of us felt that it was important to share our view, and especially when we realized that all 6 candidates who did not make it to the general were in complete agreement that what we had seen from Rob and Maren made it clear who we all thought was the better choice. You should absolutely pay attention to the upcoming debates and decide for yourself. I am sorry for aggravating you with my decision to endorse Maren, but that’s who I will be voting for in November, along with Stephen, Preston, Mia, Lucy and Jean. 

          • Suzanne August 16, 2023 (1:37 am)

            Phil, Thank you for providing this additional information. I was very surprised to see this unanimous endorsement yesterday and take it very seriously. I have great respect for you and your consistent dedication and good work here in WS. I was planning to vote for Rob Saka because I want real and positive change on the CC. But your endorsement has changed my mind. I’m surprised to be voting for Maren in the upcoming election because of some policy differences I have with her. But this public announcement by all the candidates who didn’t make the top two is a strong statement — perhaps unprecedented. Thank you for responding directly in these comments and for stepping up. 

    • CAM August 14, 2023 (9:09 pm)

      Because: This group endorsement is more notable because some of us have non-trivial policy differences with Maren on some of the issues that dominated this campaign season. But, in spite of those differences, we believe Maren’s openness, transparency and candor make her more likely than her general election opponent to be a successful collaborator on the Seattle City Council.

    • Todd Martin August 15, 2023 (9:57 pm)

      I agree. Costa seems  like another person who will be more of the same.

  • 2cents August 14, 2023 (7:26 pm)

    Read the urbanist and Stranger reviews, this shouldn’t surprise.

    • SwayedWS August 14, 2023 (8:59 pm)

      Agreed. Was leaning toward Saka until we read The Stranger’s take on his interview with their election board (here). Think what you will of the publication, he should have been able to present clear positions. The rest of the candidates they interviewed did.

       But out of all the candidates we interviewed this year, tech lawyer Rob Saka troubled us the most. He could not answer a SINGLE question directly. 

      • bradley August 15, 2023 (9:28 am)

        You mean the Snarky, Swearing, F-Bombing, publication of the Underground?  Why should they be taken seriously.

        • K August 15, 2023 (9:50 am)

          Because they don’t capitalize random words?

        • Jort August 15, 2023 (10:08 am)

          Maybe because their viewpoints consistently represent the majority of voters in the city? That might be a good reason to take them seriously? Uh oh, swear words, though! Uh oh!

          • bradley August 15, 2023 (12:46 pm)

            Yeah, because I don’t need to drop F-Bombs to sound like an adult and make a rational point.  But you go ahead if it helps.

          • WS native August 16, 2023 (7:24 am)

            Wrong. That’s a bunch of bull. They don’t represent anyone I know in my west seattle neighborhood. It’s a junk rag and only fit for hard core progressives. anyone slight right of communism gets torched by them.

        • Kadoo August 15, 2023 (10:20 am)

          My opinion as well about The Stranger. 

        • Delridge420 August 15, 2023 (11:19 am)

          Because their editorial board does their homework on the candidates. Unlike the Seattle Times.

          • bradley August 15, 2023 (12:44 pm)

            Yeah, their voting record (The Stranger) has had so much success in building a great city).  Kshama much?

          • Todd Martin August 15, 2023 (9:58 pm)


          • Suzanne August 16, 2023 (1:45 am)

            The Seattle Times absolutely does their homework. The fact that you disagree with them is no excuse to denigrate them. Your ill-informed post says far more about you than them.

          • Derek August 16, 2023 (3:59 am)

            Some of us like and appreciate Kshama. She goes about it a different way but I respect it. I am also socialist though.

  • WSOwl August 14, 2023 (7:51 pm)

    I voted Costa in the primary and will be voting for her in the general!

  • Mike August 14, 2023 (8:49 pm)

    For me, which candidate will hold criminals accountable? Who will help those less fortunate, but follow the law, support our police and reverse the trend of crime in West Seattle. We can’t accept open drug use and blatant repeated crime. Maren or Saka? How will each of them answer this question? 

    • Duffy August 14, 2023 (9:55 pm)

      Unfortunately none of them will. There is very little room for that in Seattle politics. Most feel that criminals have rights that trump the pearl-clutching concerned citizens and very few, if any, candidates ever challenge that.

      • WS Citizen August 15, 2023 (8:09 am)

        That is absolutely not true. If there is one thing Saka will do, it’s that 

    • Delridge420 August 14, 2023 (10:21 pm)

      Good luck getting a direct answer out of Saka.

    • K August 15, 2023 (7:03 am)

      No candidate will hold criminals accountable because they’re running for city council, not prosecutors or any role in law enforcement.  Every candidate cares about lowering crime rates, and the qualified candidates will speak to the things city council members DO have purview over: zoning and housing policies, allocation of resources, and more boring, mundane crap like that.  Any candidate that says to you “I’m gonna go lock em all up!” is an idiot who doesn’t know what the actual job of city councilmembers is and doesn’t deserve to hold office.

  • onion August 14, 2023 (9:07 pm)

    is this a true endorsement of Costa, or a repudiation of Saka? In other words, it  something about Saka or what he did or said seems to have compelled this unusual and quick endorsement.

  • Dustin August 14, 2023 (9:11 pm)

    Crime, crime, crime. Who will focus on stopping criminal behavior??? I want to feel safe with my family in the Junction. 

    • Dan August 15, 2023 (7:09 am)

      My guy, if you don’t feel safe with your family in West Seattle Junction, you’re gonna have to move to Candy Land for peace of mind.

    • WS Citizen August 15, 2023 (8:14 am)


    • Kt August 15, 2023 (8:17 am)

      Until this country fixes its health care insurance problem, there will continue to be dangerously mentally ill people committing crimes and abusing drugs.  Other western countries who have universal health care do NOT have the same level of violent crime and drug abuse like we do here all across this country.  Not sure how a city government can fix that.  

      • CAM August 16, 2023 (12:42 am)

        Factually and statistically wrong. People with mental illnesses commit less crime per capita than those without mental illness and are more likely to be the victims of crime/violent crime than those without mental illness. Mental illness on its own does not increase a person’s likelihood of engaging in violent or illegal behavior. Perfectly sane, not mentally ill people commit the vast majority of crime in this and other countries. Our crime rate and incarceration rate are related to our lack of universal social safety net for our citizens but not because of lack of mental health care on its own. Lack of access to housing, basic income, basic nutrition, basic healthcare, etc all lead to increased likelihood of future criminal behavior. 

  • Anne August 14, 2023 (9:34 pm)

    you want more of the same -vote for Costa. 

    • Delridge420 August 14, 2023 (10:15 pm)

      How do you know you won’t get more of the same with a guy who dodges basic questions? The fact that Tavel of all people can’t get behind Saka speaks volumes. 

      • WS Citizen August 15, 2023 (8:15 am)

        Because Sakas experience Vs. Costas…

        • Jay August 15, 2023 (9:36 am)

          Experience isn’t a proper qualification for elected office. For someone refusing to answer any questions about their policy positions, their experience is a threat rather than an asset.

        • Delridge420 August 15, 2023 (9:41 am)

          Experience as an attorney for a company that helps promote disinformation and harvests your personal data? Why would we want that in the council? 

        • Derek August 16, 2023 (4:00 am)

          Saka has experience in defending morally bankrupt businesses. Not what is needed for CC. 

    • Kadoo August 14, 2023 (10:34 pm)


    • WS Citizen August 15, 2023 (8:15 am)


  • J.N August 14, 2023 (9:43 pm)

     I’m sure as a business owner in WS that Maren will do a great job for the community so lets be behind her and help her  to make West Seattle a better place. 

    • WS Citizen August 15, 2023 (8:16 am)

      Business > Citizens That’s what this comes down to 

    • Alaska August 15, 2023 (9:53 pm)

      That is interesting, I am also a small business owner in Ws and I have been concerned about what Maren would mean for us. Especially her wishy-washy stance on the police and thus cleaning up the streets our businesses operate on. How did you get over that? I supported Tavel due to my concerns but now will likely vote for Saka.

  • Informed Voter August 14, 2023 (9:53 pm)

    My problem with Saka is that he can’t seem to come at us ten toes down. Numerous people in my network have met him and we share the same concern. When he meets you he asks what matters to you and then presents a preset recording of talking points that mean zilch. I want someone who can speak their position (without having to take a poll first) and accept that not everyone may agree. His constant vague and majestic statements are more unsettling than say a candidate who I might not agree with but at least squares up and owns it. When pressed, Saka becomes defensive and has, according to several accounts, resorted to attacking his fellow candidates. He deflects. If he really wants my vote, he needs to step up and out and stand on something besides his pride on being very close friends with Bruce Harrell. I don’t want a council person walking in with preset political loyalties.

    • Delridge420 August 14, 2023 (10:52 pm)

      Exactly my thoughts. Saka does a nice job of making you feel like you’re being listened to without actually saying anything of substance. Which probably tracks with being a lawyer for one of the most socially corrosive corporations on the planet.

  • Steve August 14, 2023 (10:22 pm)

    Thanks for the input, also-rans. I’m voting for Saka

  • Scubafrog August 14, 2023 (10:22 pm)

    Rob Saka has an exemplary background.  I share his outlook for making the district, and city better.  I’m excited to vote for him. 

    • Josh August 15, 2023 (10:26 am)

      Can you share exactly what it is he stands for? He can’t. We know he says he was homeless as a kid. We know he says he served. We know he says he coached little league. We know he is friends with the Mayor. We know he made his living help Facebook be the positive force for change that it is. What does any mean to you the citizen who is seeking representation?

    • SorryPhil August 15, 2023 (12:59 pm)

      Same, Scubafrog! I’m 100% ready to vote for Saka.

      While he might not be a grand orator, IMO he is still much more likely than Costa to move us toward the Seattle I’d like to see.

      Herbold (whom I voted for) was as articulate as they come, and a huge disappointment.

      It’s also curious to me that people are villifying Saka for working at Facebook, while Costa has boasted quite a bit about her tech background. Amazon was openly exploitative when she started there, even if she eventually decided she didn’t need the paycheck… I guess a checkered employer only matters when we want it to.

    • WSResidentNum64324 August 15, 2023 (2:50 pm)

      Saka seems to represent the somewhat more moderate choice. A Bruce Harrell sycophant would be fine with me – that’s about as good as it’s going to get in Seattle, for someone with my (more moderate) politics.

  • Delridge420 August 14, 2023 (10:24 pm)

    What an embarrassment for the Times Editorial Board. More evidence how completely uninformed they are and how they basically pick candidates based on vibes. 

  • Rockatansky August 14, 2023 (10:42 pm)

     Wow, this is really troubling.  As Costa just seems like a carbon copy of Herbold. Their voices have been heard. It’s time for some diversity. 

    • Delridge420 August 14, 2023 (10:49 pm)

      Saka is a literal facsimile of Harrell who has been part of the institutional decay of the SCC for decades. Calling Saka a change candidate is a total joke. 

      • Rockatansky August 15, 2023 (12:21 pm)

         The institutional decay of the SCC started with Sawant. The last city council was the establishment, and they’ve been miserable failures by virtually every metric. Please don’t fear change. 

    • Steve August 15, 2023 (12:30 am)

      It is troubling. Seems worse than Herbold. But you will never see diversity in the city or county government. It’s like the old politburo and everyone keeps raising their hands for the same failed policies.  And everyone keeps smiling and voting against their self interest. Sad.

      • Rhonda August 15, 2023 (1:07 am)


      • Felix Grounds August 15, 2023 (8:31 am)

        The eighties called, they want their cold war propaganda back.

      • Delridge420 August 15, 2023 (9:44 am)

        And Harrell isn’t part of the “old Politburo”? He’s been around forever and Saka is his guy. 

      • Jort August 15, 2023 (3:18 pm)

        I feel like I should go to the reddest city in the reddest state in America and start making demands for “diversity” in their all-republican, all-conservative city government. Maybe if I stamp my feet enough they’ll let in a liberal?! City government reflects the will of the voters, the voters of this city are extremely liberal, that’s how it goes, deal with it and move on.

    • derek August 16, 2023 (4:02 am)

      The city started going bad when Davison, Nelson, and Harrell started leading things. They are awful and hate the poor and working class.

  • Seattle_Native August 14, 2023 (11:03 pm)

    I voted for Phil Tavel this time, and in the last election. That he would rally he fellow candidates to immediately endorse someone who has made it clear that she will be more destructive than Herbold is beyond disappointing. Guess he didn’t mean any of the things he campaigned on. We get what we vote for, and with Costa,  will be voting for the accelerated decline of our city. 

    • Delridge420 August 15, 2023 (9:48 am)

      Have you considered the possibility Phil might know the candidates better than you do after running a campaign? 

    • Jort August 15, 2023 (10:15 am)

      If you loved Phil Tavel so much, you might want to listen to him when he is literally telling you that Rob Saka is a worse choice for you than Maren Costa. I mean, seriously, maybe listen to him. 

      • Seattle_Native August 15, 2023 (9:22 pm)

        I have listened to him. I know him. Hence my comments.

  • Gaslit August 14, 2023 (11:32 pm)

    People are probably reading way more into this than necessary. Costa’s team very likely reached out to all of the eliminated candidates and agreed to bring forward their policy/platform issues in exchange for the endorsement. A shrewd political move which could pull some voters to her. It’s a talking point for eventual debates, but will likely be inconsequential as the election moves forward. 

    • JunctionResident August 16, 2023 (8:43 am)

      This makes the most sense to me as well and won’t necessarily prevent me from voting for Saka. Saka came to my door before the primary and we had a very stimulating conversation for about 20 minutes. I was impressed with him.

  • Seattlite August 15, 2023 (2:50 am)

    Neither Costa or Saka are up for the important changes needed to revitalize Seattle into a functional, well-managed city.  It will be status quo all the way no matter which one is elected.  It is all so very sad for West Seattle and greater Seattle.  

    • admyrl byrd August 15, 2023 (5:33 pm)

      Sadly probably the most accurate comment in this thread.  There ain’t no Coupe DeVille hiding at the bottom of this Cracker Jack Box.

  • erik August 15, 2023 (5:49 am)

    what a powerful endorsement from a group of people who know both front runners better than nearly anyone else; simply incredible

  • PDiddy August 15, 2023 (6:15 am)

    Wow is the only thing  can say and I am shocked they all want Herebold v2.

    • Wtf August 15, 2023 (9:03 am)

      I know right? 

    • anonyme August 15, 2023 (9:22 am)

      As the entire council is Herbold v1, it’s not surprising at all.  The last thing they want is someone who’ll shake things up.

    • 98126res August 15, 2023 (1:09 pm)

      Hand picked Herbold 2. More of the same???   No thank you.  We will vote for Saka!

    • Derek August 16, 2023 (4:04 am)

      I liked Herbold. So I like Costa.

  • Actually Mike August 15, 2023 (6:56 am)

    Thanks for covering this and so much else going on in our neck of the woods. Will there be a space on the District 1 Council ballot for write-in candidates? ‘Cause I don’t like anything about how this is going. Maybe I’ll write inTavel just to express that perspective.

    • anonyme August 15, 2023 (3:34 pm)

      MIke, I’m with you.  It’s either gonna be a write-in, or I’m going to give up voting as my votes haven’t made a bit of difference in a very long time.

    • admyrl byrd August 15, 2023 (5:34 pm)

      That’s probably as effective as voting for the No Labels candidate in 2024.

  • K8 August 15, 2023 (7:06 am)

    My friend had a very negative interaction with Costa. I thought that I would never vote for her, but this letter is making me re-think that. This is a situation where I wish that we had had ranked choice voting instead of just the top two candidates. 

    • Derek August 16, 2023 (4:05 am)

      No way to verify this is even true. Never heard any opinion of Costa like this.

      • Delridge420 August 16, 2023 (11:09 pm)

        It should be irrelevant anyways. I had a very positive interaction with Saka and he comes across as a nice guy. And I respect him for putting himself out there and doing retail politicking, it’s not easy. And I was leaning in his direction up until recently. But there comes a time when candidates have to be direct and concrete about what they want to do and he hasn’t done that.

  • Alki resident August 15, 2023 (8:09 am)

    Costa has publicly said many times that she would have voted against adopting the state’s drug use policy rule, which was in fact voted down by our very own Herbold. She’s another Herbold- if not worse! Literally another activist. Saka is the only choice if we want change! 

    • Kadoo August 15, 2023 (10:23 am)

      Amen!!! I was at the first forum and witnessed that. 

    • Race Watcher August 19, 2023 (10:21 am)

      But you have to listen to the rest of the answer. Arrests do not fix the problem. There is nothing in the incarceration system that fixes the problems. Candidates said no because of that, we must have diversion programs in place and places for these folks to go to get real, sustainable help. Otherwise, jail just exacerbates the problem, and they are turned back out into society to repeat. Look at the evidence available, and, look beyond the yes, or no to these questions. 

  • Kyle August 15, 2023 (8:39 am)

    WSB, will there be another district 1 debate before the general election? I am honestly very torn given this unanimous endorsement from all eliminated candidates. Would be great to hear both candidates answer some questions again.

  • L August 15, 2023 (9:11 am)

    Do people really want 4 more years of Herbold?    Look at the numbers — we are on pace for another increase in murders (and other violent crime) and overdoses.    Wake up West Seattle we need change and we have a better chance of a fresh start from Saka.

    • Delridge420 August 15, 2023 (9:36 am)

      Setting aside how weird it is to blame Herbold personally for crime (and not, you know, SPD, for basically refusing to do their jobs because mean things were said about them 3 years ago) it’s wild how so many people have projected their own beliefs onto Saka based on basically nothing other than him not being The Stranger endorsed candidate. I talked to him about the cops myself when he came to my door, told them I thought they and their union are holding the city hostage, and he agreed with me! I guess he’s whatever you want him to be and the perpetual complainers in these comments have convinced themselves he’s going to be Ann Davison’s new best friend. 

      • admyrl byrd August 15, 2023 (5:36 pm)

        Maybe, just going out on a limb here, she shouldn’t voted to cut budgets of SPD after pledging to grow it as part of her last election campaign?  Moving traffic enforcement out of SPD so efficiently that they botched a whole year of tickets and violations, exposing the city to lawsuits.I wouldn’t want to work for this city, particularly as an SPD officer.

        • CAM August 16, 2023 (12:31 am)

          The budget for staffing and SPD officers was not touched and remains in place. It was not cut. These are lies that you have led yourself to believe. In terms of the budget of SPD as a whole being cut or responsibilities being reassigned to different agencies, find me a government department in the last decade who has not had their budget cut or some of their staff reassigned/reallocated. This position that police money is untouchable but the money for other government services is open to slash and burn tactics is laughable at best. 

        • Jeff August 16, 2023 (12:49 pm)

          Stop perpetuating the lie that SPD’s budget decreased. Please stick to truth at very minimum here… Ann Davison is a joke and needs to be voted out the first chance we get. She’s made the city so much worse!!! What did we expect from a former Trumper.

          • Delridge420 August 16, 2023 (5:19 pm)

            No evidence to suggest Ann is a *former* Trumper, still could be. The only thing we do know is that she’s a former Democrat based on her “Walk Away” video. 

    • Ivan Weiss August 15, 2023 (10:13 am)

      @L: I don’t know how anyone could conclude that “we have a better chance of a fresh start from Saka” when Saka can’t even state what, specifically, he would do to effect the changes you say you seek. The man seems unable, or more likely, unwilling, to give straight answers to straight questions. The other candidates, who have appeared with him in every public forum, have been exposed to his act probably more than anyone else in the district, maybe excepting Tracy. :-) The way I read their letter, they think the voters and taxpayers deserve better than a candidate who will say anything (or nothing) to get elected, but can’t (or won’t) say specifically what he would do once in office. Saka has only himself to blame for this turn of events.

    • April August 15, 2023 (10:44 am)

      I agree L. We don’t need more of a Lisa. As I woman I do not support Costa!

  • bradley August 15, 2023 (9:34 am)

    It’s a long time to November and a lot can happen.

  • April August 15, 2023 (9:36 am)

    Team Saka. We don’t need another Lisa! As a woman, I do not support Costa!  Ughhhhh

  • bradley August 15, 2023 (9:49 am)

    This letter won’t sway me in the least.  The fact that they are all aligning asks me why they ran against her if she was so great.  This is just Political speak to get in with the Party Line.  The One Endorsement that stands out to me is the Tammy Morales connection.  That speaks more in volumes and tells me where the Stand is.

    • Delridge420 August 15, 2023 (1:12 pm)

      They ran because they all thought they were a better choice and the primary voters chose someone else. When given a binary choice that isn’t one of them, they are backing the better candidate. People are really tying themselves into knots to try and discount the significance of this because…they don’t like whoever The Stranger likes?

      Also, newsflash: Saka has the endorsement of King County Council’s most progressive member (who is quite critical of law enforcement) so if you think you’re going to get a law and order conservative out of Saka, you may be in for a very rude awakening.

  • s August 15, 2023 (10:30 am)

    That is so odd…the letter was received from Tavel, but his first name was spelled wrong, and his profession was incorrect?

    • WSB August 15, 2023 (11:44 am)

      It was a collective effort, apparently, but the collective didn’t include a proofreader.

  • Peter August 15, 2023 (11:46 am)

    Primary candidates endorsing general election candidates is not unusual. All primary candidates endorsing one general election candidate as a group is highly unusual. I can’t help feeling they know something they’re not telling us, I don’t think their vague statements in the letter adequately explain this. As a Saka supporter, if there’s something about him that is really that alarming, I think the public deserves to know what it is. 

    • CAM August 16, 2023 (12:25 am)

      There is plenty of information out there in the media from publications that did not endorse Saka about why he is not a good candidate. It’s been available for a while. 

    • Suzanne August 16, 2023 (2:04 am)

      I agree with you. However, the message is clear that for whatever reason, the primary candidates have more confidence in Costa than Saka. They certainly know more about each other than the voters. Sometimes what’s not said aloud can speak volumes. 

      As much as I’d like to know the reasons behind this endorsement, it’s enough to cause me to vote for Costa even though I didn’t plan on it. 

      Food for thought — if the candidates were to provide the specifics re Saka, they might be opening themselves up to being sued by him. A non-specific announcement is the right way to approach this, to protect themselves. 

  • 937 August 15, 2023 (11:48 am)

    Might as well tally 1 more for “Voter Apathy”

    I’m through wasting my time. THIS is what you want? Take it. I’m out.

    Phil – I backed you till now. I’m ashamed.

    • DC August 15, 2023 (12:20 pm)

      Costa wants more housing everywhere. She’s willing to sacrifice some driver convenience for better pedestrian, cyclist and transit rider experience. She recognizes that efforts to increase the number of police are more than an issue of throwing them more money and that we need to address the core issues causing the crime wave (which is affecting the entire nation BTW). You call believing in those issues ‘apathy’? Others might call voting for someone who gives vague answers and ‘hard’ talk on crime with no plan to actual address the issues apathy. I guess we’ll let the democratic process decide. 

      • 937 August 15, 2023 (9:43 pm)

        No. The “apathy” I speak of are the over 60% of the voting base NOT casting ballots.

        This is not democracy in action.
        This is democracy inaction.

        • K August 17, 2023 (6:36 am)

          Quick reminder that “abstain” is a vote.  

  • Del August 15, 2023 (12:14 pm)

    I would consider Seattle’s city council cohesion an utter failure so if all the district one failed candidates say to vote for Maren Costa because she will continue that same council cohesion it should make district 1 think about if they want more of the city council or if they want someone who’s different. 

  • flimflam August 15, 2023 (1:15 pm)

    Vote however you want but let’s cut the “Trump money” rhetoric. Seattle is as blue as it gets, there isn’t a secret cabal of trump boots men out three looking for influence.

    • Delridge420 August 15, 2023 (1:32 pm)

      Call it conservative money, corporate money, whatever you want if you don’t like the Trump branding but there are definitely special interests trying to buy candidates that will vote the way they want. And in this race, Saka appears to be their guy. 

    • n. August 15, 2023 (1:39 pm)

      Saka literally has a PAC sending out mailers on his behalf at the tune of $40,000 a piece that is funded by Trump supporters. 

  • That letter is b.s.- let's talk about the issues August 15, 2023 (2:05 pm)

    “We endorse Maren for the same reason we sought the office; we love Seattle and we want to see it thrive.”Many of those who say they want Seattle to thrive would have voted against adopting the state’s new drug use law. I am tired, and I am not alone, of policy that allows people to treat themselves, others and our community like garbage and we’re apparently supposed to deal with it because that is the “caring” thing to do. District 1 definitely needs more time to hear from these candidates so we understand their positions and how they will represent the people of district 1 when it comes time to place their votes.Let’s be honest- neither can “fix” some of these things. But I do want to better understand what position they will take when things come across their desks.

  • Saka 4 CC August 15, 2023 (2:58 pm)

    Who cares who the losers support? 

    • Kadoo August 15, 2023 (3:45 pm)

      Exactly! I didn’t care to vote for them so why would I listen to them now?

      • heartless August 16, 2023 (6:46 pm)

        I mean, you previously posted about how happy you were that Phil Tavel was running in this election.  Why wouldn’t it follow that you like and respect the guy, and value his advice?

        It’s just such a weirdly large gap from “I’m glad Phil is running again!” to “why should I listen” to him.  Odd, no?

        • Delridge420 August 16, 2023 (9:33 pm)

          It’s almost like some of these people are just reactionaries who just want to gripe about the libs.

  • Genesee5Points August 15, 2023 (3:03 pm)

    Quick question for the WSB commenters… Does the current state of Seattle make you proud to be a resident? In 2022 homicides increased by 24%, motor vehicle thefts have ticked up 30%, overall crime is up 4% and police staffing came in at a 30 year low. In June of this year city council could have given the city attorney the ability to prosecute public drug possession, but shot it down 5-4.  Per the US Census Bureau, 7% of greater Seattle residents (~227K people) have felt pressure to move away due to crime (feeling safe), the highest percentage in the country for a major metro area. So in short, we have a crime problem (murder, theft, street racing, shooting), a homelessness problem (encampments), a drug addiction problem (open drug use, nodding out in public) and no meaningful mechanism to fix it. The worst part… WE ARE TO BLAME! We’ve failed ourselves by voting for sub-par, do-nothing, virtue-signaling candidates who have ushered out the days of Seattle being a vibrant city. Take the Rapid Ride C from Alaska Junction (the beating heart of WS) to Seneca and walk to Virginia, and tell me if you’re proud of what you see, and proud of what Seattle has become. Then please go vote for someone that will do something about it.              

    • Delridge420 August 15, 2023 (4:19 pm)

      It’s possible to be disappointed in progress on certain issues and also happy to be living in this city (which, by the way, was the fastest growing city last year according to the Seattle Times). Some of us also realize we’re talking about complicated, systemic issues that aren’t easily solvable or things the city can handle by itself. You threw out a lot of statistics, most of them without citations. Homicides are up in 2022 over when? The prior year? What about 10 years ago? Or 30 years ago? Why don’t you define for us the golden age of Seattle where we had no homelessness, homicides, theft, or drug use?

      I’m also not convinced that spending city resources to prosecute drug addicts is going to fix anything. We already have an overcrowded jail. Do you want to build another one? Or is this just about putting addicts in a place where they can deteriorate out of view? I would like to see less overdoses and fentanyl use like everyone else but I want that solution to be something with a proven track record of success.

      Progressive council members and candidates could do a much better job of articulating coherent alternatives that people could get behind but that doesn’t mean I’m going to vote for someone offering provably bad ideas just because they sound more soundbite friendly.

    • Jon Wright August 16, 2023 (5:25 pm)

      Guess what? These issues aren’t unique to Seattle. ALL cities in the U.S. are struggling with them. These are our nation’s contemporary issues. The causes are  complex, much more than a few council candidates you don’t like getting elected in Seattle.

  • Admiral-2009 August 15, 2023 (7:12 pm)

    Too many boundaries have already been crossed, open air drug use in plain sight is flat out unacceptable.  It’s time to make these adults accountable, either go into rehab, go to jail or leave town.  Enough coddling, it’s time to bring out the stick, if the carrot is not accepted and adhered to, and enable the new State drug law to be enforced!

    This is the issue that is a priority for me I determining who I will vote for.

    • Some more Admiral August 15, 2023 (9:12 pm)


    • 937 August 15, 2023 (9:52 pm)

      You and I are consistently in the minority.

      THIS is the Seattle “they” want. This is the Seattle the ‘Seattle Voter’ consistently votes for. Different faces, genders, looks etc – same bad policies.

      Well – they can HAVE it. I’m through. Will let home value appreciate for a little while longer – and then cash in on the next progressive Savior who wants this garbage ridden city and the ridiculously high property taxes.


    • K August 16, 2023 (7:08 am)

      “Coddling” isn’t the reason these issues still exist and are getting worse.  We spent the better part of the late 80s and into the 90s giving drug users harsher and harsher sentences for less and less.  We threw GOBS of money at the police, equipping them with better armor and weaponry than the US Military.  And it DID NOT WORK.  The definition of insanity is doing something over and over and expecting different results.  As a country all we have EVER tried to curb drug use is punishment.  Treatment sounds great, but neighbors fight the addition of new rehab centers in their neighborhoods.
      Providing stable housing and basic income–solving underlying issues–is not something that has been tried on a large scale, but all available data shows it produces better results than putting people in a catch and release cycle of locking them up every time they pick up a joint.  Do you actually want to solve the problem, or are you just looking to see people you deem lesser suffer more for a problem you don’t understand?

      • Scubafrog August 16, 2023 (1:58 pm)

        While I agree on some points K, we aren’t talking about joints.  Fentanyl smoke can kill non-users in a close radius.  Moreover, homicides are at a 30-year high.  Thus Seattle’s elected officials and policies have failed. I’m not for mass-incarceration, nor more jails/prisons.  The justice system is racially biased and failed the goal of rehabilitation.  I am for more police, and for consequences when people break the law (consequences need to be decided in light of justice reform).  I’m also for saving lives when people OD, Seattle’s first responders have done an extraordinary job to that end.  At least 10 people OD per day in Seattle.  It’s incumbent on Seattle, King County, The State and the US to figure out what real rehabilitation is, versus men and women languishing in cells.  Modern American Incarceration guarantees offenders will reoffend, and simply doesn’t work.  Perhaps it’s time for the country to look at Finland’s model of Justice, as America’s status quo has failed, and Finland’s works re recidivism stats.

  • gebee August 16, 2023 (4:58 pm)

    As European I am just curious how realistic Maren Costas plan to implement a 1% Vacancy Tax on vacant property would be? This strategy is raising havoc in German Cities with red green City Councils, and Voters especially small Landlords and Seniors are drifting to right extremist parties.

  • WSB August 16, 2023 (7:13 pm)

    Reminder that though we don’t require registration for commenting, once you enter a specific discussion with one handle, stick to it in that discussion. We’re seeing some particularly glaring attempts here at sockpuppetry (and not just on one “side”). Don’t do it. Thanks.

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