Islanders hear from King County Council candidates

Vashon voters will soon choose the next District 8 King County Council member.

On Aug 1, Vashon voters will have their first say in who will succeed longtime King County Council member Joe McDermott to represent District 8 — a swath of the county ranging through the disparate communities of Vashon, Burien, White Center, and West Seattle, and from the International District to First Hill in Seattle.

McDermott, who has held the council seat since 2010, announced in January he would not seek re-election.

Contenders in the primary race are Burien Mayor Sofia Aragon, Seattle City Council Member Teresa Mosqueda, and perennial fringe candidate Goodspaceguy.

The top two vote-getters will progress to the general election, in November.

Mosqueda and Aragon came to the island on June 19 to participate in a forum co-sponsored by the Vashon-Maury Community Council and Vashon Island Chamber of Commerce, held at the Vashon Presbyterian Church and on Zoom.

GoodSpaceGuy was a no-show, not responding to invitations, according to organizers.

Aragon, a Democrat, claims 20 years of experience in state legislative advocacy.

She is the first woman of color to be Mayor of Burien and is coming up on the end of her two-year term in this position, as well as serving on the Burien City Council. A lifelong resident of King County, Aragon grew up in South Seattle and currently resides in Burien.

She is endorsed by NW Women’s Political Caucus, state representatives Tina Orwall and Cindy Ryu, former state representative Eileen Cody, the mayors of Bellevue, Redmond, SeaTac, and Tukwila; former Burien mayor, Brian Bennett, and others.

According to Aragon’s website, her priorities are keeping neighborhoods safe; valuing diversity, equity, and inclusion; creating affordable housing; protecting the environment; real action against homelessness; prioritizing public health, and expanding workforce development.

Mosqueda, also a Democrat, is a Seattle City Council member who resides in West Seattle. A third-generation Mexican-American, she was elected to Seattle’s City Council in November 2017 and reelected in 2021.

She was named one of Seattle’s Most Influential People in 2018, just a year after she first took office. She also received the Local Progress 2019 Andy Barkan Progressive Champion Award, and in 2020 earned national attention for championing “JumpStart Seattle,” a payroll tax that invests in housing, economic resilience, Green New Deal investments and equitable development.

Mosqueda is endorsed by U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal; Attorney General Bob Ferguson; King County Executive Dow Constantine; Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell; all endorsing unions including MLK Labor, SEIU locals, UFCW 3000, OPEIU 8, and Seattle Building Trades; the majority of the 34th, 33rd, 11th, 37th, and 43rd legislators; Progreso — Latino Progress; Washington Conservation Action; WA Housing Alliance Action Fund; NW Women’s Political Caucus, and over 200 other organizations and individuals.

According to her campaign’s website, her priorities for “a healthy, housed, and resilient King County” are public health, building workforce, supportive, and green housing, and achieving family stability via improvements in healthcare, childcare, transit, and living-wage jobs.


Approximately 40 islanders attended the candidates’ forum held on Vashon.

Community Council member Jake Jacobovitch served as moderator, with Amy Drayer, executive director of the Vashon Chamber, also chiming in with questions.

Responding to a question from Jacobovitch, both candidates pledged to work with the Community Council and maintain close contact with their constituents on the island.

“I would definitely make sure that my office has a presence here,” Aragon said.

Mosqueda reported that her campaign manager had already attended a Community Council meeting two months ago, in order to listen to the members speak about their priorities for the community.

“It is my commitment to you that I will continue that track record of showing up and listening and [responding to] those issues,” Mosqueda said. “I will elevate those issues to the King County Council.”

Mosqueda spoke about Vashon’s susceptibility to climate change, given its ferry dependency and rising tides, and said that as a Councilmember, she would work to expedite permits, serve as a smart steward of public land, and get more people into construction jobs.

Both candidates also spoke about the crisis of affordable housing on Vashon, in response to a question from Vashon HouseHold’s executive director, who asked the candidates to describe how they would prioritize Vashon in terms of county planning, code reviews, funding, permitting, and contracting to develop more housing on the island.

In response, Aragon said the county needed to work harder to ensure its policies on growth and density are a good fit for Vashon.

Mosqueda also expressed a commitment to working to find ways to address these issues on Vashon.

“As I’ve met with business owners, here the number one thing that they’ve told me is that they need housing,” she said. “They need housing for workers to be able to live on the island so they’re not stressed about getting on and off the island — whether [that means] getting home in time to see their family or pick up their kiddo from daycare. But right now, it is really impossible to plan your day on whether or not the ferry is going to show up on time.”

To help solve Vashon’s ferry woes, Mosqueda said that she would like to see King County water taxi service increase in frequency on Vashon.

She said she has been out to Vashon approximately every three weeks during the past four months and had spoken to many islanders about the community’s particular needs.

Saying that Vashon had not received an abundance of resources in the past from the county, or been thought of first when outreach was sought on larger community plans, Mosqueda pledged to change that mindset.

“I want to be your Councilmember who thinks first about unincorporated areas [and gets] direct feedback from [the] community,” she said.

Aragon, for her part, proposed policies for Vashon that she had seen work in Burien around the issues of unhoused people, transportation, and grants.

There will be another candidate forum in the fall, hosted by the Vashon-Maury Community Council.

For more information about the candidates, visit and