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
Other | 14,754 votes
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.”
“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.