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Political Science and Seattle Politics 

Submitted by Natalie Mc Martinez on January 10, 2022 - 11:39am

Bruce Harrell

Bruce Harrell, the department’s 2007 Distinguish Alumnus, is Seattle’s newly elected Mayor after winning 59 percent of the vote.  He received his BA in Political Science in 1979. In 2012 he was distinguished with one of the UW’s “Timeless Awards.”  

Bruce grew up in Seattle graduating from Garfield High as class valedictorian. He turned down scholarships at Harvard and Stanford to attend the UW. Bruce was a UW football linebacker and a member of the 1978 Rose Bowl championship team. He was a recipient of the 2008 Husky Legend award. He was politically active on campus, participating in protests against the UW’s investments in apartheid South Africa and serving as a volunteer tutoring prison inmates..

After graduating, he went on to earn his J.D. at the University of Washington. He then became a practicing attorney specializing in employment law.  He served three terms of the Seattle City Council from 2007 to 2019 and was twice elected Council President by his peers.

At his swearing in he spoke of the challenges facing the City and his desire to “lead this City obsessed with excellence and kindness, with inclusion and hope, with balance and optimism.”

Dow Johnson

Dow Constantine, the department’s 2011 Distinguished Alumnus, was re-elected to a fourth term as King County Executive after winning 55 percent of the vote.  He received his BA in Political Science in 1985, followed by a UW law degree, and graduate degree in Urban Planning.  In 2012 he was also distinguished with one of the UW’s “Timeless Awards.”

As an undergraduate Dow served as a Washington state legislative intern.  He served two terms in the State House of Representatives, one in the State Senate, and four on the King County Council.  He was first elected King County Executive in 2009.

His vision is to create the nation’s best run government, building partnerships to meet key challenges concerning homelessness, COVID 19, equity and social justice, climate change, and regional mobility.

Andrew Lewis

Andrew J. Lewis has represented District 7 on the Seattle City Council since 2020. He graduated with a B.A. in History and Political Science from the University of Washington, and holds a Masters degree from the London School of Economics and a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Andrew is a fifth generation Washingtonian and was born and raised in Seattle. He previously worked as an assistant city attorney in the Seattle City Attorney’s Office. Before practicing law, he served on the Seattle Human Rights Commission, the Rental Housing Inspection Stakeholder Committee, the executive board of the 36th District Democrats, as a delegate to the MLK County Labor Council, and as a campaign manager for Councilmember Nick Licata.

Brianna Thomas

Brianna Thomas, another recent graduate of our department, ran unsuccessfully for a District 9 position on the Seattle City Council in 2021. Brianna has been very active in the Seattle community. Most recently, she served as Councilmember Lorena Gonzales’ Chief of Staff.