Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell won’t seek reelection in 2019

Jan 8, 2019, 11:16 AM | Updated: 12:54 pm
Bruce Harrell won't seek reelection in 2019...
(Matt Pitman, KIRO Radio)
(Matt Pitman, KIRO Radio)

Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell announced Tuesday that he won’t seek reelection when his term expires at the end of 2019.

RELATED: Seattle City Council up for massive overhaul in 2019

Harrell was first elected to City Council in 2007, and will have served three total terms when he steps down this year. He also served as acting mayor in September 2017, after then-mayor Ed Murray stepped down amid allegations of sexual abuse.

“I have been honored to serve the people of Seattle and thank the many community partners, city employees, organizations, family and friends who began this journey with me in 2007, and have worked with me to make our city better,” Harrell said in a news release.

Harrell also had some choice words concerning Seattle’s wealth disparity.

Our City struggles profoundly with reconciling the vast wealth that has been created in the same place known for long lines at food banks and numerous homeless encampments. Thriving businesses are discouraged when their work, commitment and ingenuity are met with public antagonism and resentment. Corporate social responsibility investments are lost in the noise of disenchantment.

Speaking to KIRO 7’s Essex Porter, he stated that “three terms is sufficient in this role at this time.”

On Monday, community organizer Tammy Morales announced she would be going after Harrell’s seat. She also ran against Harrell in 2015, losing by fewer than 400 votes.

This comes months after councilmembers Rob Johnson and Sally Bagshaw both said they wouldn’t seek reelection themselves this year. 2019 will see seven out nine seats in Seattle City Council up for grabs, now with three wide open for a new councilmember.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan released a statement of her own shortly after the announcement.

Bruce has been a friend and colleague for over 30 years. For decades, he has worked tirelessly for our communities and for a more inclusive Seattle. Since our days together in law school at the University of Washington, I have known him to be a man of compassion and justice. Like his parents, Bruce cares deeply about and works to improve our communities.

As mayor, I have sought his advice and partnered with him to deliver on our shared priorities, like free ORCA passes for youth, two years of free college for Seattle Public Schools high school students, and new gun safety legislation.

I look forward to continuing to work with Bruce for the remainder of his term to create a more affordable, just, and vibrant city of the future.

We will miss having Bruce at City Hall. But I know his contributions to our communities will continue for years to come.

A tough road for city council

It’s been a tough term for the Seattle’s City Council, overall.

The city’s homeless problem has persisted in the wake of tens of millions of dollars in investments, the controversial head tax saga earlier in 2018 saw confidence in the city council hit a low among voters, and the council almost lost a $12 million funding package after a largely symbolic vote went awry.

In a poll obtained by KIRO Radio and MyNorthwest in December, the city council’s disapproval rating had climbed to nearly half of voters at 48 percent, with 26 percent holding “strongly unfavorable” views.

RELATED: Seattle council scrambles for solution after symbolic vote

Local News

Federal Way gun buyback...
Deborah Horne, KIRO 7 News

Federal Way’s gun buyback runs out of gift cards early

Hundreds of unwanted firearms were turned in Saturday in Federal Way’s first ever gun buyback. Owners received a gift card in return.
1 day ago
Bill Kaczaraba

Lovable radio host Frasier returns, but not to Seattle

Frasier, the lovable but loveless radio host who put Seattle on the map will not be returning to the Emerald City.
1 day ago
Capitol Hill shooting...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Investigation underway after man shot in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood

Police are investigating after a man was shot in the hip in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood on Saturday morning.
2 days ago
(Photo from KIRO 7)...
Julia Dallas, KIRO 7 News and Bridget Chavez, KIRO 7 News

Redmond police using vehicle-mounted GPS tracking system to track down fleeing suspects

The Redmond Police Department started using StarChase Pursuit in January to safely pursue fleeing suspects.
2 days ago
Deedee Sun, KIRO 7 News

Murder of Kent teacher calls attention to mental health crisis in Washington

A Tacoma mom stabbed and killed on Wednesday has been identified as 66-year-old Gail Gese, a teacher at Cedar Heights Middle School in Kent.
2 days ago
In this photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Pacific Northwest, a Coast Guard rescue swimmer reac...
Associated Press

Man rescued by Coast Guard wanted in ‘Goonies’ fish incident

A man who was saved by a Coast Guard rescue swimmer at the mouth of the Columbia River as a massive wave rolled the yacht he was piloting Friday was wanted for a bizarre incident in which police said he left a dead fish at the Astoria, Oregon, home featured in the classic 1985 film, "The Goonies."
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell won’t seek reelection in 2019