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Jim Pugel Seattle City Council candidate
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Former Seattle police chief to announce run for City Council seat


Former interim Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel is officially announcing his campaign to run for Seattle City Council on Tuesday morning.

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Pugel is running for a seat in District 7, where incumbent Sally Bagshaw is not seeking reelection. He joins a crowded field in the district, joining upwards of six other registered candidates, including former FBI undercover intelligence officer Naveed Jamali.

Pugel came under fire from the police community last year, after appearing in an ad supporting I-940, a measure that was widely panned by law enforcement groups before eventually being approved by voters in November.

He spent 36 years in law enforcement, including a rise to the rank of Assistant Police Chief in Seattle.

He was appointed interim police chief by then-mayor Mike McGinn in 2013, following the retirement of Police Chief John Diaz. After serving in the role for roughly eight months, and then as Assistant Seattle Police Chief, Pugel retired from the department in 2014, before finishing his career at the King County Sheriff’s Department last May.

A press release from his campaign describes him as an “advocate for constitutional policing and reform.” He plans to formally unveil his campaign to the public at a press event in Occidental Square on Tuesday morning at 11 a.m.

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Seven out of nine total council seats in Seattle are up for grabs in 2019. Only Debora Juarez (District 5) and Kshama Sawant (District 3) have officially announced their intent to seek reelection, although both Lisa Herbold (District 1) and Mike O’Brien (District 6) are expected to run as well.

Sally Bagshaw (District 7), Rob Johnson (District 4), and Council President Bruce Harrell (District 2) have all expressed that they will not be seeking reelection.

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