Seattle City Councilmember Dan Strauss
Seattle City Councilmember Dan Strauss (Campaign publicity photo)

There’s been a lead change in the con­test for Seat­tle City Coun­cil Dis­trict #6.

With today’s count, incum­bent Dan Strauss has over­tak­en his chal­lenger, Pete Han­ning, and looks set to return to the Seat­tle City Coun­cil for anoth­er term. Strauss was behind on Elec­tion Night and again yes­ter­day, but was expect­ed to move into first place by the end of the week with the tab­u­la­tion of late ballots.

He’s now done that, and tomor­row, he’ll almost cer­tain­ly pad his new lead.

Seattle City Council #6 results: Third day of counting

Dan StraussDan Strauss

Oth­er | 14,754 votes

Pete HanningPete Han­ning

Oth­er | 14,529 votes


Pri­or to becom­ing a Seat­tle City Coun­cilmem­ber in 2020 (he was elect­ed in 2019), Strauss served as a senior pol­i­cy advi­sor for for­mer Seat­tle City Coun­cilmem­ber Sal­ly Bagshaw, and as a leg­isla­tive assis­tant to now retired Sen­a­tor David Frockt.

“In Olympia as a leg­isla­tive aide, Strauss spear­head­ed the first ver­sion of Washington’s Extreme Risk Pro­tec­tion Order, a law designed to tem­porar­i­ly restrict access to firearms from peo­ple who demon­strate a threat to them­selves or oth­ers,” his offi­cial Coun­cil biog­ra­phy notes. “When the Leg­is­la­ture failed to pass respon­si­ble gun leg­is­la­tion, he went to work for the Alliance for Gun Respon­si­bil­i­ty on the Extreme Risk Pro­tec­tion Orders Ini­tia­tive (I‑1491), which he helped get passed in 2016 with over 70 per­cent of the vote.”

His cam­paign web­site notes: “Dan loves liv­ing in Bal­lard because there is nowhere else that is blocks to both the salt­wa­ter and fresh­wa­ter, and on mul­ti­ple bus routes. In his free time, Dan enjoys moun­taineer­ing, build­ing hik­ing trails, and kayak­ing around Seat­tle. He has raced 3 times in the SEVENTY48, an unsup­port­ed human pow­er race from Taco­ma to Port Townsend cov­er­ing 70 miles.”

“Last year he cut 5 hours off his time and com­plet­ed the 70 miles in 24 hours, 15 min­utes.  You can most often find him walk­ing around Green Lake, on Bal­lard Avenue, in Dis­cov­ery Park, or launch­ing his kayak at Elks Lodge #827.”

Strauss was endorsed in his bid for a sec­ond term by The Stranger and The Urban­ist. The Seat­tle Times, how­ev­er, declined to endorse Strauss for reelec­tion, back­ing Han­ning instead. The Times cit­ed Strauss’ record on pub­lic safe­ty and his fail­ure to sub­ject May­or Bruce Har­rel­l’s pro­posed tree ordi­nance to robust leg­isla­tive and pub­lic scruti­ny, which could have result­ed in a pro­pos­al that reflect­ed com­mu­ni­ty input rather than what the Mas­ter Builders wanted.

“Despite a plea from the city’s own Urban For­est Com­mis­sion to post­pone the May 23 vote on an ordi­nance that the com­mis­sion said vio­lat­ed city code and did not fol­low the Seat­tle Race and Social Jus­tice Initiative’s Racial Equi­ty Toolk­it process, Strauss forged ahead. Seat­tle will undoubt­ed­ly be less green because of it,” the Times edi­to­ri­al­ized in its endorse­ment of Han­ning.

Han­ning, a small busi­ness own­er, leads the Fre­mont Cham­ber of Commerce.

“I’ve been civi­cal­ly engaged through­out my career, with a focus on improv­ing pub­lic safe­ty and sup­port­ing small busi­ness­es. I’ve served on many boards, includ­ing the Fre­mont Neigh­bor­hood Coun­cil, the North Precinct Advi­so­ry Coun­cil, the Fre­mont Cham­ber of Com­merce, the Seat­tle Restau­rant Alliance, and the Wash­ing­ton Restaurant/Hospitality Asso­ci­a­tion. I helped form the Seat­tle Restau­rant Alliance and the Seat­tle Nightlife & Music Asso­ci­a­tion,” Han­ning’s cam­paign biog­ra­phy says.

The Urban­ist backed Strauss, char­ac­ter­iz­ing him as the bet­ter choice while fault­ing him for some of his votes and lim­it­ed effectiveness.

“We’re hop­ing for more from the land use com­mit­tee chair; the City Coun­cil sore­ly needs a strong leader in this role as it works to pass a ‘Major Update’ to its Com­pre­hen­sive Plan by the end of 2024. While we appre­ci­ate Strauss’s ded­i­ca­tion to traf­fic safe­ty and lib­er­al­iz­ing street cafe rules, the few changes he has worked to imple­ment have been rel­a­tive­ly minor.”

The Stranger’s endorse­ment of Strauss was even more reluc­tant.

“With all the con­sti­tu­tion of a pile of sug­ar-free Jel­lo, Strauss spent his first few years on coun­cil fol­low­ing the lead of oth­er pro­gres­sive politi­cians. But as his re-elec­tion approached, he piv­ot­ed hard­er and hard­er to the right. He held his tongue on most con­tentious votes, such as the council’s drug war reboot, but then he inevitably sided with the worst peo­ple on the dais,” the alt-week­ly editorialized.

Nev­er­the­less, Strauss made it onto The Stranger’s “Cheat Sheet.”

And, as of tonight, he’s the only incum­bent from any of the sev­en city coun­cil dis­tricts poised to return to the coun­cil. Lisa Her­bold, Kshama Sawant, Alex Ped­er­sen, and Deb­o­ra Juarez are all retir­ing, while incum­bents Tam­my Morales and Andrew Lewis, who decid­ed to run again, remain behind.

There’s a chance Morales pulls it out in Dis­trict #2 — the out­come could be very close. Lewis’ prospects in Dis­trict #7 are grimmer.

We’ll con­tin­ue to keep an eye on these con­tests as the count­ing continues.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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