Seattle Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda latest to reveal plans to leave seat with eyes on county role

Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda announced Thursday that she will run for King County Council District 8, seeking to replace retiring Councilmember Joe McDermott.

Democrat and West Seattle resident, Mosqueda is currently serving her sixth year in office and as the council’s budget chair. Her Seattle council seat is not up for reelection until 2025.

If Mosqueda is elected to King County Council, she will be the fifth incumbent Seattle councilmember choosing not to return next year.

In that event, the city charter would give the remaining Seattle councilmembers 20 calendar days to fill her vacated seat. That would likely trigger a series of executive sessions, public forums, presentations from applicants for the seat, and eventually a vote by the sitting council.

The last time Seattle had a vacant seat on the dais was in 2019, when then-District 4 Councilmember Rob Johnson stepped down four months before the August primary. After the 20-day vetting process, Abel Pacheco was eventually appointed to serve the remaining months of Johnson’s term, under the condition that he not run for the seat as part that year’s scheduled election. It is unclear at this time whether a potential replacement for Mosqueda would be asked to agree to a similar requirement.

According to a media release, Mosqueda plans to focus on addressing displacement and building workforce housing, investing in public and behavioral health and supporting working families and small businesses with affordable childcare, accessible transit, and job training.

“I am running for King County Council District 8 to improve the opportunity for working families to be healthy, housed, and resilient,” said Mosqueda. “We can do this by investing in greater behavioral health and public health supports, expanding housing and displacement efforts that makes it possible for people to stay stably housed, and investing in what working families and small businesses need – affordable childcare, accessible transit, and good job opportunities.”

Mosqueda emphasized her ties to District 8.

“District 8 is my home, where my husband and I are raising our three-year-old daughter in the North Delridge neighborhood, our pediatrician is in Burien, and our favorite parks span the shoreline of the district from Seahurst to Jack Block,” Mosqueda said. “Our neighborhood is surrounded by working families, play areas and parks, nearby public beaches, bustling small businesses, bike lanes and trails, community centers, and childcare, and multiple lines of transit – this is the kind of welcoming and accessible community I hope for all District 8 residents. I will work with urgency, and in collaboration with community and local leaders, to expand economic opportunities and improve the health of every King County neighbor.”

Mosqueda listed her accomplishments, while in office, like improving worker standards for domestic, hotel, and human service. Also eliminating the subminimum wage for workers with disabilities, passing sick leave for gig drivers, creating grants for small businesses focused on women and people of color, and getting funding for cash payments to childcare workers and immigrant workers.

She also spoke about her housing reform laws, and that she quadrupled investments in affordable housing.

As Budget Chair, Mosqueda said she worked with colleagues to include funding for reproductive rights and abortion care, mental health support for high school students, and funding for childcare centers to expand care to working families and small businesses.

Mosqueda listed her nearly 100 early endorsers for the County Council District 8 position. Also, her community support through small businesses, housing champions, community leaders from communities of color, and public health leaders.

If Mosqueda does not win the county council seat, she can continue to serve on Seattle’s council for the remainder of her term.

Seattle councilmembers Lisa Herbold, Debora Juarez, Kshama Sawant, and Alex Pedersen have all expressed their intent to not run for reelection to their respective seats. Councilmembers Tammy Morales and Andrew Lewis announced reelection campaigns earlier this year, while Councilmember Dan Strauss has not yet indicated his own plans for this election cycle.