It’s no surprise really, but Seattle City Council member Nick Licata officially announced today that he will not seek reelection in November:
“I’ve been lucky to have an exciting life filled with challenges taken on voluntarily, not out of hardship.
“Perhaps the greatest challenge we all face is the need to improve the lives of Americans who are seeing their future increasingly impeded by the outrageous growing concentration of wealth, and I would add power, in this nation.
“No one city can resolve this problem. But Seattle has done much in attempting to do so. I would like to play more of an active role in that effort. And see what I can do to have Seattle’s accomplishments duplicated elsewhere.
“I hope after my current term ends this year that I may have that opportunity in some capacity. So, I will not seek re-election.
It’s a shame, really. Long the most liberal member of the council, Licata’s energy and influence had arguably faded in recent years, but Kshama Sawant’s election as an honest-to-godless socialist appeared to reinvigorate him. 2014 was a very good year for Licata and his issues. He’ll be missed.
If Licata’s retirement was making room for bringing some young blood to the council, I suppose I’d feel more sanguine about the prospect of replacing an old white guy. But it won’t play out that way. The move to district elections had put Licata in the position of running against another incumbent, either Mike O’Brien in District 6, or more likely Sally Clark in one of the two at-large seats. So Licata’s retirement just makes the other incumbents more secure, and the council as a whole more conservative by subtraction.