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Despite larger field, Teresa Mosqueda still faces little opposition in Seattle council reelection bid

Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda. (Facebook)

Shortly before the late-May filing deadline for Seattle’s 2021 election, just four candidates had registered to run against incumbent at-large Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda. But despite the number of challengers ballooning to 10 in the weeks since, there’s still a sizable gap in fundraising between Mosqueda and the rest of the field.

3 candidates maintain fundraising lead in race for Seattle council seat

As of June 13, Mosqueda has raised over $164,000 across 3,075 contributors. Meanwhile, she’s racked up scores of high-profile endorsements, including Rep. Pramila Jayapal, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, six sitting King County Council members, five sitting Seattle City Council members (including current mayoral candidate Lorena Gonzalez), and 13 state lawmakers.

She’s also garnered broad support from local labor groups, including the MLK Labor Council, as well as unions representing grocery store and retail workers, health care professionals, construction workers, carpenters, and hospitality workers.

As for the 10 candidates registered to oppose Mosqueda in the August primary, none have raised more than $10,000, with local activist and perennial council candidate Kate Martin running in a distant second at just over $9,100. Trailing behind Martin is Paul Glumaz, who has brought in roughly $7,500. The next highest fundraisers — Brian Fahey and Jordan Fisher — both are sitting just below the $2,000 threshold, while the remaining candidates have yet to take in any contributions whatsoever.

This operates in stark contrast to when Mosqueda was first elected in 2017. During that election cycle, she raised a total of nearly $459,000, but wasn’t without serious competition, with General Election challenger and housing advocate Jon Grant taking in over $359,000 over the course of his campaign. The third-highest fundraiser was Fremont Brewery founder Sara Nelson — who’s running again in 2021 to fill Seattle’s other at-large council seat — at over $148,000.

Fields now set for Seattle mayor, council, and city attorney elections

And while council races featuring incumbents often don’t attract the same level of competition as those without, past races have similarly featured strong fundraising efforts from a variety of challengers.

In 2019, District 1 Councilmember Lisa Herbold’s two main opponents raised nearly $75,000 and over $192,000, respectively. In the District 3 race against Kshama Sawant, five challengers raised over $85,000, with Sawant’s General Election opponent Egan Orion pulling in over $403,000. Even in District 5 — where Debora Juarez garnered the largest margin of victory of any incumbent — two challengers raised over $59,000.

Ballots for the Aug. 3, 2021, primary will begin getting mailed out to Seattle residents starting in mid-July, leaving roughly a month for challengers to attempt to close the fundraising gap. After that, voters have three weeks to submit their ballots ahead of the Aug. 3 deadline. The top two candidates in the primary will move on to the General Election scheduled for Nov. 2.

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