This morning, Seattle City Councilmember M. Lorena González announced via press release that she will not run for mayor of Seattle. The announcement comes about a week after rumors surfaced that she was considering a run, and just a couple days before Friday’s deadline for candidates to formally file candidacy.
“After speaking with my family and much consideration, I have decided to not enter the Seattle Mayor’s race in 2017,” said González in the release. “While being the Mayor of Seattle would be an incredible honor, I remain focused on the work we have yet to accomplish on the Seattle City Council.
“Over the next four years, I am uniquely positioned to continue protecting our immigrant and refugee families and championing paid family and medical leave, police reform and housing affordability. I am humbled [by calls to run for mayor]…but I instead will redouble my efforts on the Seattle City Council as a citywide representative in Position 9.”
The fact that González will not run has significant implications for the fall race. There are nine candidates, many of them credible, running for Position 8, the only other city-wide seat on the council. It is currently held by Tim Burgess, who will retire from council after this year. Had González, who does not face any particularly imposing challengers, jumped from running for reelection in Position 9 to the mayor’s race, she would almost certainly have precipitated more jumps, particularly from Position 8 candidates into the Position 9 race for González’s seat.
But all those possibilities are now moot, because González isn’t running for mayor. It’s a strategically sound decision: she’s unlikely to face significant opposition in her race for reelection to Position 9, while the sheer number of candidates running for mayor would make her own mayoral candidacy (and anyone else’s) a crapshoot. And, of course, any time a candidate magnanimously refuses a proferred crown is a good time to brush up on your Shakespeare.