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Seattle council races set with 45 candidates across 7 districts on the ballot

Seattle City Hall ahead of upcoming city council elections

SEATTLE — The field is now set for Seattle’s upcoming city council elections in 2023, with 45 total candidates registered to run across seven districts.

Just two of Seattle’s nine total council seats are not up for re-election this year -- both are at-large positions. Of the seven districts up for a vote in 2023, incumbents have announced they won’t be running in four: Lisa Herbold in District 1, Kshama Sawant in District 3, Alex Pedersen in District 4, and Council President Debora Juarez in District 5.

This situation mirrors the last time seven of nine Seattle council seats were up for grabs in 2019, where four incumbents at the time -- including then-Council President and now-Mayor Bruce Harrell -- did not run for reelection.

For an added wrinkle this time around, at-large Seattle Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda is also running for King County Council’s District 8 seat. If she wins, her Seattle council position will be vacated. In that event, the city charter would give the remaining Seattle councilmembers 20 calendar days to fill her seat for the remainder of her term, which expires in 2025. Mosqueda has intimated that she does not intend to vacate her Seattle seat if she does not win her county council race.

District 5 has the most candidates headed into the August primary at 10. Eight candidates are running in each of districts 1 and 3, while districts 4 and 6 both feature six candidates. Despite the fact that Councilmember Alex Pedersen is not running for reelection in District 4, just four candidates have registered to run in that race.

You can see the full list of candidates across every race at this link. Ballots for the August 1 primary are scheduled to be sent out to voters on July 12.

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