Seattle Councilmember Sally Bagshaw is planning her exit from city hall
Seattle Councilmember Sally Bagshaw will not seek re-election after her current term is over, bringing to a close her 10 years on the dais.
Crosscut reports that Bagshaw is leaving her council position. Her current term will go until the end of 2019, shortly after the next November election. Bagshaw represents the city’s District 7, which stretches from Pioneer Square to Magnolia.
Bagshaw told Crosscut that she decided not to run again after her last campaign. She hasn’t made that decision public until now, saying “I was not going to do this for 14 years.” Though it has been widely rumored over the past year she was on her way out.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan responded to the news saying that Seattle is better thanks to the council member’s service.
“Since I became mayor, Councilmember Bagshaw has been a key partner — including on delivering the balanced budget,” Durkan said. “I have been lucky to know and work with Sally Bagshaw for many years…”
Side note: Durkan said that she may now take Bagshaw up on her offers to go sailing.
Bagshaw and the Seattle City Council
With Bagshaw not running for re-election, it makes two Seattle council members who will not stay on the job. District 4 Councilmember Rob Johnson is also bowing out after his currently term is up. A total of seven council positions will be up for grabs in 2019 — now two of them will not offer incumbents.
Bagshaw presented a kind demeanor on the dais, appearing to make efforts to find compromises. She objected to Seattle’s infamous homeless encampment being called “The Jungle.” Arguing that “words matter,” she preferred a title with a less negative tone.
“… I have been lucky to see firsthand Sally’s love for Seattle and commitment to more vibrant, inclusive communities,” Durkan said Tuesday. “For decades, she has been a tireless voice for our most vulnerable neighbors.”
Yet Bagshaw also broke with her council colleagues on contentious issues. When the controversial head tax was in its early form, she pushed back saying that the business community should be at the table. It prompted sharp attacks from others on the dais, such as Councilmember Kshama Sawant.
District 6, which is represented by Mike O’Brien, briefly had a fresh face stepping up to challenge the incumbent. But that challenger, Christopher Rufo, halted his campaign, citing a toxic political atmosphere in Seattle. Rufo said that he was not only attacked politically, but his wife and 8-year-old son were targets as well. He said his wife was the victim of racist threats, and an online community page for his son’s school was also not spared.
“There is a hardcore set of activists that are willing to do anything,” Rufo told KIRO Radio. “And they’ve weaponized our common values of tolerance, diversity, and compassion as tools to destroy people. And it’s absolutely wrong, and as a city, we can’t stand for it.”
“The whole time that people are tolerant of you as an immigrant, a woman, a minority — if you disagree with them politically, all of that goes out the window, and they’ll come at you with racist attacks,” he said.