While both candidates are very far from the center by national standards, Harrell, a former University of Washington soccer star with an African American father and Japanese mother, had a reputation for being one of the more business-friendly members of the council. González is on Harrell’s left, although even it could be seen as the “center” of the council in relation to other vocal members like the self-proclaimed socialist Kshama Sawant. González, who grew up with parents of farm laborers in east Washington and was the first Latina elected to Seattle city council in 2015, briefly ran for attorney general in 2020 but reversed course when Democratic incumbent Bob Ferguson voted for re-election.
Two other candidates who have not yet held an elected office but started earlier than the race González or Harrellcurrently, however enjoy a considerable edge Thanks in large part to González and Harrell on fundraising Seattle’s “Democracy Voucher” programallowing residents to give public funds to candidates of their choice. The candidate who grew up the most is Colleen Echohawk, the executive director of the Chief Seattle Club, who is focused on providing services to homeless Indians. Second is Andrew Grant Houston, an architect who also serves as Interim Policy Director for Councilor Teresa Mosqueda. (However, Mosqueda approved of González.)
Contrary to what you might think based on their job descriptions, Echohawk has a reputation for being more of a candidate for a company. She is one too Board member of the business-oriented Downtown Seattle Association, for example. Houston is likely the left-most lead candidate based on political positions (e.g., on police issues) and endorsements. Due to the fact that the anti-establishment is largely on its own, he may be the best-positioned candidate to sneak into the list in the top two spots instead of González or Harrell, much like runner-up Cary Moon from the year 2017.
Former MP Jessyn Farrell, who is the only candidate to return from the 2017 race and came fourth in the primary, is also pushing for the top step. As last time, Farrell is focusing on the environmental / urbanist niche in this area. Another potentially notable candidate is Casey Sixkiller, who recently stepped in and has not yet released funding numbers. Sixkiller is Durkan’s deputy mayor, who, while not an elected position, can be helpful in terms of establishing connections.
Finally, there are two other contenders who are likely to get stuck but are interesting wild cards, partly in terms of who else they could take away votes. One is Art Langlie, who, despite his name, is not the mayor of Seattle and the governor of Washington from the 1940s. He is a businessman who is the grandson of the historical figure of the same name. As an ex-Republican, he seems closest The race actually has to be moderate (by national standards) So if he gets a reaction to backlash-based rhetoric regarding policing or homelessness, it is likely due to Harrell’s voting share. He is also the only white manin this group.
The other interesting hope is James Donaldson, a former Seattle SuperSonic from 1980 to 1983 (and all-star with the Dallas Mavericks in 1988) who is now a local businessman. At 7 feet by 2 inches tall, Donaldson would also easily be the nation’s tallest elected official despite failing to serve on two occasions in the past. Donaldson ran for Seattle mayor in 2009 and finished fourth in the primary, despite a lack of political experience, but he did took only 3% of the vote in a city council race a decade later.