SEATTLE — The race is on for seven district-specific Seattle City Council seats, and an overhaul is underway as four city council members did not seek re-election.
One of the most-watched races this year is the one for District 3, where incumbent Kshama Sawant is leading challenger Egan Orion after the fifth round of ballot results were posted Friday night.
District 1: West Seattle
Incumbent Lisa Herbold, who is serving her first term, is running against public defender Phil Tavel.
The fifth round of election results show Herbold is leading the race with 56%, and Tavel is trailing with 44% of the votes. There is now a 4,105-vote gap between the candidates.
Before she was elected to City Council, Herbold worked as a legislative aide to former Councilmember Nick Licata. During her last term, Herbold touted the restored Community Service Officers program and anti-discrimination laws for tenants as some of her accomplishments.
A trial lawyer, Tavel is also a Pro Tem Judge in King County District Court. He serves as vice president of the Morgan Community Association and has worked as a high school physics teacher.
Herbold has raised $191,666, and Tavel has raised $185,522 as of Oct. 30, according to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission.
District 2: South Seattle
Tammy Morales, a community organizer, and Mark Solomon, who works in crime prevention with Seattle Police, vie for the open seat.
The fifth round of results show Morales has 61% of the votes to Solomon's 39%.
Morales has worked as a community organizer with the Rainier Beach Action Coalition and was appointed a Human Rights Commissioner.
Solomon is a crime prevention specialist with Seattle Police and a security consultant with a firm he helped found. Solomon also served in the Air Force, retiring in 2012 as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Morales has raised $187,572, and Solomon has raised $147,166 as of Oct. 30, according to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission.
Council President Bruce Harrell, who has served on the council since 2008, chose not to seek re-election this year.
District 3: Capitol Hill, Central District and Madrona
Incumbent Kshama Sawant, who has served since 2014, faces off against Egan Orion, an event organizer and small business advocate.
Incumbent Sawant is now leading with 51.77% of the votes to challenger Orion's 47.78%.
Sawant has historically garnered a large percentage of the later votes, which is why on Tuesday evening she said she's ready to fight after early results showed Orion with the lead.
“We have always had to fight hard, so we are going to have to continue to fight hard,” said Kshama Sawant after hearing early results Tuesday evening. “We are going to have to make sure that every ballot of otherwise disenfranchised people gets to count."
On the other side, Orion cautiously celebrated Tuesday in what he is hoping is a win.
“Back when we started this race, we just had a handful of supporters and a vision for a new type of leadership for District 3,” said Orion. “Win or lose, and most likely it’s a win, I wanted to say thank you to all of you here tonight, and to all of the voters across District 3 who took a chance on this political newcomer.”
Sawant is running to be the longest-serving member of Seattle City Council. A Socialist, Sawant touts the city’s $15 minimum wage, renter protection laws, and work to save The Showbox music venue as some of her accomplishments.
Orion has run two small businesses and organized PrideFest Capitol Hill and Seattle Center. He previously worked as the head of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce.
As of Oct. 30, Sawant raised $497,725, which is the most of any Seattle City Council candidate, according to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission. Sawant also has the largest individual donors of any candidate, filing donations from 6,830 contributors. Most of those donors – 72% – are from outside District 3, and 46% of those donors are from outside the city of Seattle.
Orion has raised $394,939 from 2,657 donors, 60% of whom reside inside District 3, according to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission.
District 4: University District, Wedgwood, and Wallingford
Shaun Scott, a community activist, and Alex Pedersen, the former legislative aide to former Councilmember Tim Burgess, vie for the open seat.
Pedersen is leading the race with 52% of the votes compared to Scott's 48%.
Scott is a first-time candidate and has been a filmmaker, campaign volunteer, and advocacy journalist. A self-described Democratic Socialist, Scott has pledged that one of the first things he would do as a council member would be to grant sovereignty to local tribes.
Pedersen worked under Burgess during his time as Budget Committee chair and drafted legislation like the Seattle Preschool Program.
Scott has raised $210,989, and Pedersen has raised $193,427 as of Oct. 30, according to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission.
Councilmember Abel Pacheco, who was appointed in April to replace former Councilmember Rob Johnson, did not seek re-election.
District 5: North Seattle
Attorney Ann Davison Sattler challenges incumbent Debora Juarez, who was elected in 2015.
Juarez has 61% of the votes, according to the fifth round of results. Davison Sattler has 39%.
Juarez was North Seattle’s first district-specific representative after the council changed formats several years ago. She has served as a King County Superior Court judge and executive director of the Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs. A member of the Blackfeet Nation, Juarez is the first Native American to be elected to Seattle City Council.
Davison Sattler says she first came to Seattle to work for the SuperSonics, where she spent five years as the assistant to the president of the team. She has also worked as a caseworker for the U.S. House and teaches law at the University of Washington Continuum College.
Juarez has raised $150,000, and Davison Sattler has raised $70,717 as of Oct. 30, according to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission.
District 6: Ballard and Green Lake
Heidi Wills, former executive director of The First Tee of Greater Seattle, conceded to Dan Strauss, senior policy advisor to Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, for the open District 6 seat.
Willis told KING 5's Chris Daniels Friday evening that she called Strauss and conceded the race saying, the “results are definitive.”
After the fifth round of results were released Friday, Strauss lead the race with 56% of the votes to Wills’ 44%.
A Ballard native, Strauss has also worked as a legislative assistant to State Den. David Frockt and helped craft legislation with the Alliance for Gun responsibility.
Wills has raised $242,105, and Strauss has raised $195,572 as of Oct. 30, according to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission.
Councilmember Mike O’Brien, who has served since 2010, chose not to seek re-election.
District 7: Magnolia, Queen Anne, and downtown Seattle
Deputy City Attorney Andrew Lewis, a 29-year-old first-time candidate, will square off against former Interim Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel for the open seat.
Lewis is leading Puget after the fifth round of returns was released Friday. Pugel, who lead the race by 20 votes on Wednesday, now trails with 15,819 votes to Lewis' 17,860 after the fifth round of returns Friday.
A Seattle native, Lewis has served as a Seattle Human Rights Commissioner and on the Rental Housing Inspection Stakeholder Committee.
Pugel spent 34 years in law enforcement, including serving as assistant and interim Seattle police chief and chief deputy with the King County Sheriff’s Office.
Lewis has raised $180,432, and Pugel has raised $223,511 as of Oct. 30, according to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission.
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, who has served on the council since 2010, chose not to seek re-election.