Seattle and King County general election results: Moderates take control of the Seattle City Council

Nov 16, 2023
Written by WR Communications


The November 7 general election featured all seven Seattle City Council seats elected by district, including three Seattle City Councilmembers seeking reelection. Another incumbent City Councilmember was running for a seat on the King County Council.

Citywide Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda wins seat on King County Council. Councilmember Mosqueda won the seat vacated by retiring Councilmember Joe McDermott. Mosqueda won her primary by a 54.75% to 39.77% margin over Sofia Aragon in a 3-way race. On election night, the general election looked much tighter, with Mosqueda ahead by 260 votes in a 50%/50% race.

As King County released additional vote tallies, Councilmember Mosqueda surged ahead to a victory margin of 10%. She is expected to serve the remainder of 2023 on the Seattle City Council (she takes office on the King County Council on January 1, 2024). Early next year, the newly-elected Seattle City Council will make an appointment to fill that citywide seat, which will be on the ballot in 2024 (to serve the final year of Councilmember Mosqueda’s term) and again in 2025 for a full four-year term.

In the race to succeed retiring King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles, the longtime executive director of Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Jorge Barón, defeated Sarah Reyneveld.

A net gain of 3 moderates on the City Council. In the City Council races, moderates picked up three seats (Districts 1, 3, and 7) and held on to two districts now held by retiring moderate Councilmembers Juarez and Pedersen. Incumbents Dan Strauss (a swing vote on the current Council) and Tammy Morales won their reelections.

The net gain of 3 moderate seats – combined with moderates holding Districts 4 and 5 – will form a governing majority with Citywide Councilmember Sara Nelson. That majority could grow to 7 seats, depending on who is appointed to Councilmember Mosqueda’s seat. In addition, Councilmember Strauss has been a swing vote on the current Council, so in all likelihood, Councilmember Morales will be the lone dissenting voice on many 8-1 votes.

Councilmember Nelson recruited and helped moderate candidates in all seven districts and deserves enormous credit for this outcome. She will be a powerful force on the Council in 2024 and 2025 (when she faces her own reelection.)

It’s important to note that the King County Elections office will continue counting votes for several more days. As usual, the candidates endorsed by The Stranger picked up a disproportionate share of votes after election night, resulting in the lead changing in two districts. With virtually all votes now counted, the 11/14 results in this summary document should reflect the final outcomes.

Read more from the Seattle Times.


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