Tanya Woo chosen to join Seattle City Council for citywide seat

Jan 24, 2024, 6:00 AM

woo seattle city council...

Seattle Councilmember Tanya Woo (Photo courtesy of City of Seattle)

(Photo courtesy of City of Seattle)

The Seattle City Council has appointed small business owner Tanya Woo to the Position 8 citywide council seat, announced by newly-named Council President Sara Nelson.

Woo was among eight finalists, edging out Juan J. Cotto, Neha Nariya, Mark Solomon, Vivian Song, Steven Strand, Mari Sugiyama and Linh Thai. These finalists were chosen by the Seattle City Council from a list of 72 candidates who completed applications made public via the council vacancy webpage. Newly-elected councilmembers Bob Kettle, Cathy Moore, Maritza Rivera and Rob Saka all endorsed Woo for the position.

More on Seattle City Council: Campaign contributions in Seattle City Council races show varied support

Woo received five votes from the council, while Song, Sugiyama and Thai each received one.

“I am so grateful, honored and very humbled. I pledge to serve everyone in the city,” Councilmember Woo said after the announcement. “I especially want to thank all of those amazing people who I’ve been friends with before we were chosen to be in the top eight. I want to build a sense of unity, collaboration and communication. My door is open. Please come and visit, and let me know how I can help.”

Woo previously fought to be on the Seattle City Council when she ran for the District 2 seat in the November 2023 election. She was defeated by incumbent Tammy Morales, who earned 50.6% of the vote compared to Woo’s 49.1% — 12,925 votes for Morales against Woo’s 12,527 votes, according to King County’s latest ballot data.

Woo continues to garner support from developers and business interests, including the National Association of Realtors, which spent more than $61,000 to support Woo’s campaign last November. But some in Seattle have pushed back against Woo being awarded this seat, including KTTH host Jason Rantz who found it disappointing that the council selected someone who was not chosen by voters.

“With a Woo selection, they would be choosing to ignore us in their first major council action,” Rantz wrote. “That’s not signaling to voters that they will represent the change we demanded and expected. With dozens of quality candidates to choose from, it’s a slap in the face to go with a recent campaign loser.”

DSA CEO on new Seattle City Council: Voters wanted change

The appointment is not a permanent one. Woo will have to run again this year and win both a primary in August and a general election in November for a full four-year term. While only filling in temporarily, Woo will have a sizable role on some major upcoming votes including amendments to the transportation levy renewal package — likely to be worth more than a billion dollars. The city is also set to make major updates to the Seattle Comprehensive Plan, which only happens once per decade and determines strategy regarding growth and infrastructure needs. And with two-thirds of the council serving their first terms, they and Mayor Harrell will be bracing for the projected $229 million budget shortfall in 2025, expected to be a major focus, with the mayor already instituting a hiring freeze for many city positions.

The seat, Position 8, was vacated by Teresa Mosqueda after she defeated Burien Mayor Sofia Aragon for King County Council’s District 8 seat in November’s general election race. Mosqueda previously held the Position 8 seat since she was first elected in 2017.

Contributing: Kate Stone

MyNorthwest Politics

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Tanya Woo chosen to join Seattle City Council for citywide seat