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December 2, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Former Seattle City Council aide weighing 4th District bid

Former Seattle City Council aide Alex Pedersen

Former Seattle City Council aide Alex Pedersen

He recently left his job as aide to Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess, his resume is packed with government work and he shares his views via a self-published Northeast Seattle newsletter called 4 to Explore.

But Alex Pedersen hasn’t registered a campaign for Northeast Seattle’s new 4th District seat as the council moves to geographic representation for its 2015 elections, and he may stay out of the race.

“Neighbors have urged me to run for City Council to represent Northeast Seattle. While that’s an exciting idea, it would be a life-altering decision and would require working through the possibilities with the entire Pedersen family,” he said in a statement.

If Pedersen does launch a bid, his 4 to Explore newsletter could come under scrutiny.

Wayne Barnett, executive director of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC), said Pedersen’s print and online publication had “come to the attention of the commission’s staff” prior to a Seattle Times inquiry Monday. Staff have reviewed the newsletter, Barnett said.

Under city and state law, an individual becomes a candidate and must file campaign finance disclosures as soon as he or she takes any one of a number of steps, including spending money with the intent of promoting his or her candidacy.

“If he is making expenditures with the intent to promote his candidacy, then he needs to register,” said Barnett, making no judgment about Pedersen’s newsletter.

Pedersen has a advertising relationship with The Seattle Times; he pays for distribution of his newsletter.

Pedersen began publishing 4 to Explore in summer 2013, several months before Seattle voters approved the move to district representation for seven of the council’s nine seats.

Each issue features: “1 shop or restaurant to visit, 1 meeting to connect with neighbors, 1 fun activity to enjoy, and 1 neighborhood issue to engage.”

The current issue includes Pedersen’s views on homelessness. It recommends the restaurant Burgermaster, a Roosevelt High School concert and a Ravenna-Bryant Community Association meeting. The website prominently displays a photo of Pedersen with his wife and children.

Pedersen left his Burgess gig last month to work on low-income housing tax credits at the real estate company Marcus & Millichap.

Current Councilmember Jean Godden, transit advocate Rob Johnson, Democratic activist Michael Maddux and University of Washington lecturer Taso Lagos have registered 4th District campaigns.

The district covers most of Northeast Seattle, including the University District, and part of Eastlake.

Comments | More in Local government, Seattle City Council | Topics: 2015 Seattle City Council elections, 4th Seattle City Council District, Michael Maddux

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