Nicole Thomas-Kennedy reflects on stress of city attorney campaign in first post-election interview
It’s been nearly a month since Nicole Thomas-Kennedy conceded the race for Seattle’s City Attorney.
She spoke to KIRO Nights host Jack Stine this week for her first post-election interview, reflecting on the stress she endured during her campaign, her hopes for Seattle moving forward, and whether she might run for office again in the future.
A self-described abolitionist, Thomas-Kennedy faced a full-court press of criticism from moderates and conservatives — inside and outside of Seattle — throughout the election cycle. That was on top of numerous death threats directed at both her and her family.
“I’m not going to say it doesn’t bother me because in the aggregate, it really starts to get overwhelming,” she described. “But I can shake it off pretty easily. I think it was when it came to my family, those were things that were really devastating to hear people wish death on my child.”
“Initially, I didn’t even really want to talk about it, because I didn’t want it out in the world that that was something that happened, because it’s just so ugly and awful,” she added.
The sum total made for a campaign that has her doubting whether she would want to put herself and her family through a similar experience in the future, be it another try at running for city attorney, or for another position like city council.
“I have thought about it, but I don’t see myself running again,” she noted. “But at the same time, I can’t say for sure what the future brings.”
As for ensuring that she remembers how the experience felt the first time around, she cites an apt metaphor.
“I gave childbirth naturally, which is something I don’t recommend for people, and they told me, ‘oh, after a while you’ll forget about how awful it was,’ and that’s why people do it again,” she said. “So I said, ‘I’m going to write it down so I don’t forget,’ and I did the same thing with this campaign.”
“I know, in the future, I’ll think like, ‘oh, it wasn’t that bad,'” she continued. “But I’m going to write it down to remind myself of what I’m in for.”
With Ann Davison now set to become Seattle’s next city attorney at the start of the new year, Thomas-Kennedy outlined her “hope that she goes where the evidence leads.”
“The evidence doesn’t lead to more incarceration,” she clarified. “All the evidence, all the data that’s been presented over years of this experiment of mass incarceration has shown that it doesn’t work, and so I hope that she looks at that evidence, because I think that we all deserve to be safe in this city.”
You can listen to Jack’s full interview with Nicole Thomas-Kennedy below:
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