Twenty-one candidates ran for Mayor of Seattle in the August Primary Election, and neither of the two who made it through to the General were my first choice (or my second choice, or my third), so it’s hard for me to get super excited about either Cary Moon or Jenny Durkan becoming my new mayor. One thing that is kind of exciting is Seattle is guaranteed to have its first woman mayor since Bertha Knight Landes left office in 1928, so we got that going for us. And while neither Moon nor Durkan were my choice for mayor back in August, one does stand above the other in the General Election race.

I first became aware of Cary Moon in 2004 when she helped found the People’s Waterfront Coalition, an organization which opposed the construction of a deep-bore waterfront tunnel (welcome back, Bertha!) and instead wanted to replace the viaduct with housing and public open space. It was a visionary idea, beaten down by pro-business, car-centric, phony progressive Democratic politicians—the same politicians who now support Jenny Durkan.

If you like the current direction Seattle is taking—unchecked development, unmanaged police, unending traffic, then you should vote for Jenny Durkan, who will continue Ed Murray’s path as a visionless lackey to corporate interests. But if you want a Seattle where a coalition of everyday people can a have a voice in city government, then vote for the woman who had a progressive vision a decade ago and will hopefully continue to in the future.


When Pete Holmes first ran for City Attorney in 2009, I loved the guy. He was an outsider rabble-rouser who for five years had chaired the Office of Professional Accountability, the Seattle Police Department’s civilian oversight board. Eight years later the love has faded into a reasonable fondness, the result of Pete becoming a part of the Establishment, man.

Tainted love aside, he’s still our best choice for City Attorney, having taken strong stances on the legalization of marijuana, police reform, immigration rights, and corporate malfeasance. He’s endorsed by pretty much every left-leaning organization and Democratic politician in the state, except for former Governor Christine Gregoire, who has endorsed Holmes’ opponent Scott Lindsay, Gregoire’s son-in-law.


In the spectrum of 50 shades of Seattle liberal gray, Jon Grant and Teresa Mosqueda are somewhere around a PMS 425—pretty darn liberal, and I would be happy having either of them represent me on this at-large council seat. They are both strong on affordable housing, renters’ rights, the minimum wage, and transit. But Grant is a bit better.

Does anyone remember Judy Nicastro? She served on the Seattle City Council from 2000 to 2004, until she was caught up in some ridiculous “scandal” involving parking lots and strippers, which go her voted out of office. She was the last outspoken voice for renters that we’ve had on the city council. It’s been too long.

Jon Grant has a background as an affordable housing advocate for both the Tenants Union and Solid Ground. With average people being pushed out of Seattle every day due to the high cost of housing (both as renters and homeowners), we need a voice like Grant’s on the Seattle City Council now more than ever.


Lorena Gonzalez first ran for city council in 2015. I didn’t vote for her back then. She had been a legal advisor for Mayor Ed Murray (pre-scandals), and I was afraid she’d be a rubber stamp for him. But she wasn’t. And she was one of the first city councilmembers to call for Murray's resignation when he was alleged with sexual abuse of minors.

I was not pleased by the way she handled her vote on the SoDo Arena street vacation (she seemingly switched her vote at, literally, the last minute without a logical explanation), but I’ll chalk that up to a rookie mistake—like so many that the dear, departed Sonics had.

In her two years on the council Gonzalez has fought for immigrant rights, paid family leave, the minimum wage, and especially police accountability, sponsoring a bill this year which created new citizen-led systems overseeing SPD. We need a police accountability advocate on the city council more than we need a new basketball arena.



I keep getting direct mail for the Yes on Prop 1 campaign, paid for by well-meaning organizations supporting veterans and the elderly. These folks should save their money...and my mailman's back. Just look at the title of this thing: Funds to help veterans, seniors, and vulnerable people. Who’s against that? Apparently nobody, because Prop 1 has no organized opposition

Here’s the deal. If (when!) this levy is approved, it will replace an expiring levy which pays for housing and human services for service-members, seniors, and others. For a few bucks a month, you can help fund job training for veterans, legal services for victims of domestic violence, meals for low-income seniors, transportation for disabled citizens, and other things that make good uses of our tax dollars. No-brainer!


William Hurt convincingly portrayed the President of the United States in the underrated 2008 thriller “Vantage Point.” That is not the same guy who is running for King County Executive. This guy is Bill Hirt, who is probably less qualified to run the county than William Hurt is to run the country.

Bill Hirt’s single platform issue seems to be to stop the expansion of light rail to the Eastside. That’s not a good thing, and fortunately he doesn’t stand a chance of winning.

Meanwhile on the left, beloved incumbent Dow Constantine is back for his third run for King County Executive. It will likely be his last, because “Governor Constantine” has a pretty nice ring to it.


Much of this race seems to be an argument over how sexist the King County Sheriff’s office is or isn’t. Indeed that fact John Urquhart’s office has been named in more than one discrimination lawsuit is troubling, but the details of the allegations are murky. And challenger Mitzi Johanknecht strikes me as a bit disingenuous when she states that Urquhart’s office is “spending our limited County budgets settling sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits,” since those specific allegations took place before Urquhart took office. So who’s the good Sheriff here?

Beyond these murky allegations, Urquhart’s office has remained fairly scandal-free during his four years as King County Sheriff, and instances where deputies misbehave seem to be met with some sort of discipline.

On many of the issues, Johanknecht is a little vague on where she stands, but she has come out against safe injection sites for opioid drug users. I prefer Urquhart’s stand on drug policy—treat it as a health issue, rather than a criminal issue. Urquhart is in favor of safe injection sites, which have proven to safe lives since 2003 in my fatherland of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Urquhart is also in favor of body cameras on cops, a fair and transparent process of reviewing officer-involved shootings and use-of-force allegations, and an expansion of the Domestic Violence Unit he reestablished in 2015. So as much as I’d love to have a Sheriff named “Mitzi,” I’m sticking with the guy we’ve got.



Incumbent Michael Spearman has been a Washington State Appellate Court Judge since 2010, and is currently the court's Presiding Chief. He has also served as a Superior Court Judge and as a Public Defender. He’s been a union member and involved in police oversight. He has been rated “Exceptionally Well Qualified” by pretty much every legal organization. He's a badass in a black robe.

His opponent, Nathan Choi, seems like a decent guy who loves dogs and Franco Harris, but he might be a bit of a nutter. He has not been rated by any legal organizations, except the King County Bar Association, whose rating is “Refused to Cooperate.” Cooperation seems like a good quality in a judge. Experience too.



My friend Steve Breaux knows his wine. A connoisseur, surely. Some might even say a snob. Whites, reds, rosés, and ports. Oh ports...Steve knows his ports. He also knows public policy, having been a lobbyist and advocate for labor rights and women’s health. His knowledge and experience are the reasons I strongly endorse Steve Breaux as Seattle's Commissioner of Port.

Oh, wait, what? Port Commissioner? That’s a different story.

The Seattle Port Commission is kind of a mess. So much drama and petty scandal, it looks like Melrose Place over there. John Creighton has been co-starring in this soap opera since 2006 and maybe it’s time for him and the Shell Arctic oil drilling boat he to rode in on to sail into the sunset.

With fresh blood, new ideas, and an adorable daughter who he features in his self-shot online campaign videos comes Ryan Calkins. Calkins is a small business owner with experience working with the Port who will bring an environmentally sound set of policies to the Port Commission. Hopefully drama-free.


Incumbent Port Commissioner Stephanie Bowman talks the talk about “environmental stewardship,” but when Shell Oil decided to park their Arctic oil drilling rig in the Port of Seattle a couple of years ago, Bowman didn’t do a damn thing to try and stop them. That is unacceptable.

Her opponent, Ahmed Abdi, is a newcomer to elective politics. Abdi was born in Somalia and lived for a time in a camp for refugees in Kenya. He moved to the United States, became a citizen, fought for a higher minimum wage for Port of Seattle workers, and now wants to be a Port of Seattle Commissioner who will advocate for the environment and workers’ rights. That is impressive.

It’s time to remove the Drill, Baby, Drill enablers from Seattle’s Port Commission. The polar bears will thank you...if they're still around.


I guess Peter Steinbrueck wants back in the game. Steinbrueck served three terms on the Seattle City Council from 1997 to 2007 and then (if my memory serves me correctly) decided not to run for re-election for any particular reason. After some time off, he ran for mayor in 2013. And lost. Now he’s running for Port Commissioner Position 4, which is incumbent-free since current commissioner Tom Albro decided to escape the Port's soap opera and not run for re-election.

I liked Steinbrueck as a councilmember and was disappointed when he decided not to run again in 2007. He was feisty, professorial, and a bit of a curmudgeon. He’s also a legacy. The park by Pike Place Market with its melting pot of tourists, hipsters, and hobos is named after his dad, Victor, who helped save both Pioneer Square and the Market from development.

I like Steinbrueck’s proposal to look into creating another regional airport in the Puget Sound area. Alaska Airlines will begin flying out of Everett’s Paine Field in 2018. It’s an interesting idea to expand commercial airline service beyond Sea-Tac. The Bay Area and Los Angeles have options, why not us?

Steinbrueck has experience, integrity, and vision. Now he just needs a job.



The Seattle School Board is made up of seven citizens who are elected to serve four year terms. Their job requirements include adopting policies for governing the school district, balancing a $750 million budget, and figuring out what instructional materials will be used in classrooms. It is essentially an unpaid position, and I have no idea why anyone would want the job.

The seven board members each represent a portion of Seattle, and District Number 4 encompasses Ballard, Magnolia and Queen Anne. There is no incumbent in the race.

I kind of like Herb Camet, Jr's attitude. He's a crank, railing against “corporate politicians masquerading as public education officials.” He’s been a teacher and principal (mostly overseas), and a Peace Corps Volunteer. He’d probably be a great guy to have a beer with, but his voter guide photo is terribly blurry and his website appears to have been designed in 1994. Professional details matter and I worry that he cannot be trusted with a $750 million budget.

His opponent is Eden Mack, who has three kids enrolled in Seattle Public Schools. She’s been active in parent/teacher/student associations as well as an organization dedicated to fully funding public K-12 education. She seems to be a hard worker, dedicated to making public schools better, and I doubt she will be a "corporate politician masquerading as a public education official.


There is no incumbent in the race for this school board district seat which covers Capitol Hill, Belltown, Pioneer Square, The ID, and The CD. Both candidates, Zachary Pullin DeWolf and Omar Vasquez, seem like decent dudes, but DeWolf had me at, “Hello, I’m staunchly opposed to charter schools.” Me too, Zach!

Washington was one of the last states in the Union to allow charter schools when we voted to legalize them in 2012 (the same year we legalized gay marriage and recreational weed—two outta three ain’t bad). Charter schools are privately run institutions paid for with public dollars. The People’s money gets used without oversight. No wonder corporate criminals like Betsy DeVos and Donald Trump love charter schools.

Let’s keep public education public.


Betty Patu is the incumbent in this race, running for her third term to represent the South Seattle neighborhoods of Beacon Hill, Mount Baker, and Rainier Valley on the school board. She has opposed charter schools, supports STEAM education (that’s STEM, plus Arts!), has advocated for public audits of district budgets, and has had both children and grandchildren in Seattle Public Schools. Her opponent, Chelsea Byers, is pretty much the opposite.

Did I mention that we should keep public schools public? Then let’s keep Betty Patu on the Seattle School Board.



I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Advisory votes are stupid. They are only on the ballot because professional fraudster Tim Eyman sponsored an initiative back in 2007 that required advisory votes on tax increases that were not subject to citizen referendum. The state Senate and House have already voted on these bills and all three passed by significant margins.

I estimate that 15,000,000 pieces of paper were used in the Washington state voters’ pamphlet to inform me that Advisory Vote No. 16 taxes fish, Advisory Vote No. 17 switches up some B&O and retail taxes, and Advisory Vote No. 18 taxes property to fund schools.

Vote however you want, because your vote doesn’t’s advisory. Get it? Thanks Tim!