State senator Bob Hasegawa of the 11th District—which includes South Seattle and Beacon Hill, where Hasegawa grew up—is running for mayor on an anticorporate platform and officially announcing his candidacy outside the downtown Wells Fargo Center at 11am today. It's around the same time a source expects Seattle mayor Ed Murray to announce he won't be running for reelection.
Hasegawa has been a state legislator since 2005, for eight years as a state representative until he took office as state senator in 2013. Hasegawa was a delegate at the Democratic National Convention for Bernie Sanders, advocated for a state income tax last year and a state-run bank this year, and voted against billions in tax cuts for Boeing in 2013. In interviews with The Seattle Times and Crosscut, Hasegawa said he wants to establish a city-owned bank—an undertaking with legal and financial challenges that have made it difficult for city officials in the past.
Before he was a politician, Hasegawa was a truck driver and became a labor leader for Teamsters Local 174. His family was incarcerated during World War II at a Japanese American internment camp; Hasegawa has been active in Asian Pacific Islander community organizations and participated in the Sea-Tac Airport protest on U.S. president Donald Trump's executive order in January.
Michael Harris, a TV producer, also announced he's running for mayor on KIRO Radio; he opposes any new taxes and called the city income tax "a joke" that would push the wealthy out of Seattle. (Libertarian Casey Carlisle and Safe Seattle activist Harley Lever are also opposed to new taxes.)
Hasegawa will likely be a strong challenger in the race—he has a strong progressive support base and a strong political resume. His announcement comes at the same time Murray is expected to announce he's no longer running for reelection, a month after a 46-year-old man sued Murray on grounds of child rape. Last week a fourth accuser alleged the Seattle mayor had paid him for sex decades ago.
Murray has a meeting with department heads this morning and may announce as early as 11am today (the same time Hasegawa's press conference is scheduled) that he's not running for reelection, a source said.