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With 12-year absence, tectonic shifts are on their way to the Seattle city attorney’s office


Seattle city attorney candidates Nicole Thomas-Kennedy and Ann Davison. (courtesy photos)

With Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes in office for 12 years, having officially bowed out, the political gap between the two remaining candidates is perhaps the widest of any other race.

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Nicole Thomas-Kennedy and Ann Davison both threw their names in the ring just before the deadline for nominations in May. And while Holmes was still initially expected to easily win re-election against the pair of newcomers, his tenuous hold on the race became clear in July, when polls indicated voters were start to move away from the holder.

The primary elections saw this trend materialize, with Thomas-Kennedy and Davison securing 35% and 33% of the vote, respectively, leaving Holmes behind in third place with 31%.

Following Holmes’ concession last Friday, Seattle has a choice of two candidates who would each represent a tectonic shift for the city attorney‘s office if they win in November.

For Thomas-Kennedy, a victory in the legislative elections would put the self-proclaimed “abolitionist” in a position to keep his promise to end the petty crime prosecutions and, as she describes it, to reduce the city’s dependence on it. the law. law enforcement, lawyers and prisons.

“Each year, the city attorney chooses to prosecute petty crimes born out of poverty, drug addiction and disability,” she said. described on his campaign site. “These lawsuits are destabilizing, ineffective and cost the City millions each year. “

“We must dismantle this unnecessary system of criminal sanctions,” she continues.

With the backing of The Stranger, former mayor Mike McGinn and former mayoral candidate Mike McGinn, Thomas-Kennedy has aligned his support at the progressive end of the spectrum until November.

On the political opposite side is Davison, whose own victory in November would immediately set her apart as a rare curator at Seattle City Hall. Having previously run as a Republican for Lieutenant Governor, his campaign for city attorney this year as obtained the support of a PAC who supported several prominent Washington Republicans during the 2020 election cycle.

In the past, she has attacked Holmes for being too lenient with violent criminals, while frequently drawing parallels between the city’s growing problems with homeless settlements and a perceived criminal element stemming from this trend.

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“Right now, what society is yelling at us here locally is that crime is increasing – social spending is going up, prosecution is going down,” she told KTTH’s Jason Rantz Show last week. “It tells us that money is not the answer, or that it is not in the right programs where there are measurable results to get the interventions we want. This tells us that there has yet to be an increase in prosecutions. “

Although Holmes is now out of the race, he threw tee shots at both contestants in his dealership last Friday.

“The city attorney’s office does not have jurisdiction over crimes like murder, burglary, drug offenses or car theft,” he told Davison’s campaign.

“Low level cases like shoplifting and trespassing go to the newly created community court where intervention and restoration are the result, not jail,” he directed to Thomas- Kennedy.

“After facing a candidate who saw my criminal policies too lax and one who saw them too draconian, it is clear that Seattle is a city with fractured views, sadly reflecting the polarized politics that is taking hold of our nation,” Holmes concluded. “Whether the Republican candidate or the abolitionist candidate wins in November, they will face a truly daunting set of challenges.”

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