Seattle Councilmember Alex Pedersen will not run for reelection in 2023
Seattle City Councilmember Alex Pedersen says he won't be running for reelection in 2023. Without the pressure of another campaign, he says he will focus on safety, fiscal responsibility, and "preventing economic, physical, and cultural displacement" in his final year in office.
“While I appreciate the encouragement from several neighborhood leaders from Wallingford to Wedgwood, I have decided not to seek re-election in 2023 to another four-year term as the fulltime City Councilmember for District 4," Pedersen said in a statement. "After 2023, my family will need me more than City Hall, and they are looking forward to having me back."
Pedersen represents Seattle's District 4. He was elected to the position in 2019 with 52% of the vote, and officially took office in 2020. He will therefore be a single-term council member, but says that he is "not a career politician." Reflecting on his time on the dais, Pedersen's announcement this week leaned into terms like "voice of reason," "rational," and "sensible public policy."
Following the announcement, Seattle Mayor Harrell expressed praise for Pedersen's work on the Council.
In a statement, Pedersen said that recent polling indicates there is more support in the city for his efforts, but "just because an elected official could win again doesn’t mean they should," and that he wants to "hand the reins to another qualified and pragmatic public servant."
Pedersen also noted his track record over the past couple years, including his votes to create the Regional Homelessness Authority and support for Rosie's Tiny Home Village in the U District; support infrastructure investments for the city's bridges; help to increase the number of school zone speed enforcements; and work to keep utility rate increases to a minimum.
He also pointed out his independent votes on the dais, such as voting against defunding the Seattle Police Department, raising property taxes for the Parks District, and a new payroll tax on Seattle employers.
Looking ahead, Pedersen's office plans to "to focus on safety, including community safety and transportation safety, as well as preventing economic, physical, and cultural displacement and ensuring fiscal responsibility so the people’s tax dollars are invested as effectively as possible."
Pedersen says he plans to return to the private sector after 2023.
Seattle has nine council districts, seven are district seats serving four years, and two are at-large serving two year terms. All seven of the district seats are up for election in 2023. So far, three seats will not have incumbents seeking reelection.
Pedersen now joins Councilmembers Lisa Herbold (District 1) and Debora Juarez (District 5) who have also announced they will not run for reelection in 2023.