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Hollingsworth aims for Sawant's District 3 in race for Seattle City Council

A challenger has emerged to face Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant in the 2023 election.

Joy Hollingsworth formally announced on MLK Day that she is challenging incumbent Sawant to represent District 3 on the Seattle City Council.

Hollingsworth has deep ties to Seattle's Central District. She is also the granddaughter of Dorothy Hollingswoth, the first Black woman elected to a Washington state school board. She played basketball for Seattle Preparatory School before playing for the University of Arizona, and then professionally in Athens, Greece. She returned to Seattle and served as an assistant basketball coach at Seattle University. Hollingsworth earned a Master's in Education at the University of Washington.

Today, Hollingsworth works in the family business, Hollingsworth Farms, a cannabis company based on the Olympic Peninsula. She lives in the Central District, however, in her family's home with her wife Iesha.

At an event Monday, Hollingsworth said her perspectives are informed by real-life experiences.

"Rolling up my sleeves to serve historically excluded communities, building a small business, advocating for our youth, using our platform for community reinvestment programs," Hollingsworth said. "I want to bring these practical, applied perspectives to City Council that is missing a Black, LGBTQIA perspective. I want to develop and promote progressive and practical strategies to address root causes of seemingly intractable issues, including all voices and perspectives, measuring progress, cultivating trust and transformational relationships."

Hollingsworth said she is committed to: expanding affordable housing and homeownership opportunities; keeping people in the homes they are currently in; investing in new ways to localized healthy food resources; mentoring youth; protecting the rights of the LGBTQIA community; and "nourishing small businesses." She also said she wants to address the recent rise in gun violence in Seattle.

"I envision a Seattle where everyone can feel like they have a role, an important role, in helping with these solutions," she said.

Hollingsworth's statements primarily spoke to what she wants to bring the Council and why she is running. She did not address Sawant, who currently holds the position.

Sawant is Seattle's only Socialist council member. She narrowly beat a recall election in 2021 and has served on the Council since 2014. She has not officially announced that she will run for re-election.

Ry Armstrong is another candidate for District 3 who has filed with the city's election department.

Seven of Seattle's council seats will be up for election in 2023. So far, three council members have opted not to run for re-election: Lisa Herbold, Alex Pederson, and Debora Juarez.

This story previously stated that Hollingsworth played basketball for Arizona State, and has been updated to accurately state she played for the University of Arizona.

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