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Race for Seattle City Attorney draws pair of last-minute challengers

Ann Davison (L) and Nicole Thomas-Kennedy (R). (Photo credits: Courtesy photo from Ann Davison, and Dawndra Budd)

Amid dozens of candidates for Seattle mayor and two city council seats in 2021, the race for city attorney has largely been lost in the shuffle, featuring just two challengers to three-term incumbent Pete Holmes.

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Holmes announced his bid for a fourth term as Seattle City Attorney in early February, and for the months that followed, he appeared to largely be running unopposed. Then in April, former Department of Justice lawyer Steve Fortney announced his campaign to challenge Holmes, raising nearly $10,000 in contributions before abruptly dropping out less than a month later.

That again left Holmes as the sole candidate, before a pair of challengers threw their respective hats in the ring just before the city’s late-May filing deadline. With that deadline having now passed, the final field in the August primary will include Ann Davison and Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, in addition to Holmes.

Davison had previously run for Seattle City Council’s District 5 seat in 2019 (then running as Ann Davison Sattler), losing to incumbent Debora Juarez by a 60.6% to 39.1% margin. After identifying as a Democrat for over two decades, she then changed her political affiliation to mount a campaign as a Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 2020. She came in third in that race’s August primary, garnering 12% of votes.

Seattle begins mailing out democracy vouchers

Davison cites the need “to have a sense of public safety” as one of her primary reasons for deciding to run for public office for the third time in as many years.

Joining Davison as the second late entry to the race is Thomas-Kennedy, whose own political platform would bring sweeping changes to Seattle’s legal system. On her campaign website, she outlines her priorities to decriminalize drugs and sex work, defund the police department, tax the wealthy, and end the prosecution of misdemeanors committed from “circumstances of poverty.”

As of June 1, neither Davison nor Thomas-Kennedy have reported any campaign funds, while Holmes has raised over $35,000 from 354 contributors. Both challengers are seeking to garner the requisite signatures and donations to qualify for Democracy Vouchers in the meantime.

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