Seattle.gov Home Page
Seattle.gov This Department
Seattle City Clerk's Home Page Seattle City Clerk's Home Page Seattle City Clerk's About Us Page Seattle City Clerk's Contact Us Page
Online Information Resources
Search Collections Exhibits and Education Seattle Facts About the Archives

Seattle Facts
Brief History of Seattle
City Officials
Historical Election Results
Ballot Initiatives
City Symbols
Quick Information

Mayors of the City of Seattle

The Mayor is the chief executive officer of the City. The Mayor is responsible for ensuring that the laws of the City are enforced, directing and controlling all subordinate officers and agencies, and maintaining the peace and order in the City. Any candidate for the position must be a citizen of the United States, a qualified elector of the State of Washington, and a registered voter of the City of Seattle at the time of filing his/her declaration of candidacy.

Seattle was first incorporated as a town by an act of the Territorial Legislature on January 14, 1865. The act was repealed January 18, 1867, after most of the town’s leading citizens filed a petition for dissolution. During its first tenure as an incorporated entity, Seattle was governed by a Board of Trustees and for all of that period the President of the Board was Charles C. Terry.

Mayors, 1869-1890
Seattle was again incorporated, this time as a city, by an act of the Territorial Legislature on December 2, 1869. The City’s first mayor, Henry A. Atkins, was appointed by the Legislature pending the first City election scheduled for July 1870. The City Charter, granted by the Legislature, set the Mayor’s term of office at one year. Elections were held on the second Monday in July.

Name Date Term Began Notes
Henry A. Atkins 12/2/1869 Republican. Appointed by the Territorial Legislature pending the town’s first election.
Henry A. Atkins 7/11/1870 Republican.
John T. Jordan 7/31/1871 No Party Affiliation.
Corliss P. Stone 7/29/1872 Republican. Stone left the city before his term ended.
John T. Jordan 4/5/1873 No Party Affiliation. Jordan was appointed acting mayor to serve until a special election could be held to fill out the term.
Moses R. Maddocks 6/5/1873 Republican. Maddocks was elected to serve the final two months of Stone’s term.
John Collins 8/3/1873 Democrat.
Henry L. Yesler 8/2/1874 Republican.
Bailey Gatzert 8/2/1875 Independent.
Gideon A. Weed 7/31/1876 No Party Affiliation.
Gideon A. Weed 7/30/1877 No Party Affiliation.
Beriah Brown 7/29/1878 People’s Ticket.
Orange Jacobs 8/3/1879 Republican.
Leonard P. Smith 8/2/1880 Republican.
Leonard P. Smith 8/1/1881 Republican.
Henry G. Struve 7/31/1882 Republican.
Henry G. Struve 7/30/1883 Republican.
John Leary 8/3/1884 Business Men’s Ticket
Henry L. Yesler 8/3/1885 Republican.
William H. Shoudy 8/2/1886 People’s Party.
Thomas T. Minor 8/1/1887 Republican.
Robert Moran 7/30/1888 Republican.
Robert Moran 7/29/1889 Republican.
Harry White 8/3/1890 Republican. White served an abbreviated term prior to adoption of a new City charter.

Mayors, 1890-1948
The Freeholders Charter of 1890 changed the term of office for the Mayor to two years and made the incumbent ineligible for re-election until after the lapse of two years. Elections were held on the first Monday in March. The two-year term was maintained under a new Freeholders’ Charter of 1896, but the restrictioin on re-election was removed. Elections were changed to the Tuesday following the first Monday in March. A Charter Amendment passed by the voters on March 8, 1910, established non-partisan nominations and elections for all City elective offices. In 1921 the State Legislature established elections on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in May. Two years later, the elections were moved back to the second Tuesday in March.

Name Date Term Began Notes
Harry White 10/14/1890 Republican. White was elected under the Freeholder’s Charter of 1890. He resigned November 30, 1891
George Hall 12/9/1891 Republican. Hall was appointed by the Council to fill the remainder of White’s term.
James T. Ronald 3/31/1892 Democrat.
Byron Phelps 3/19/1894 Republican.
Frank D. Black 3/16/1896 Republican. Black resigned after three weeks in office. A contemporary historian says Black was nominated, elected, and installed over his protests.
W.D. Wood 4/6/1896 Republican. Wood was appointed to fill the unexpired term, but subsequently left the City to take part in the Klondike Gold Rush.
Thomas J. Humes 11/19/1897 Republican. Humes was elected by City Council on the 65th ballot to fill the unexpired term.
Thomas J. Humes 3/21/1898 Republican.
Thomas J. Humes 3/19/1900 Republican.
Thomas J. Humes 3/17/1902 Republican.
Richard A. Ballinger 3/21/1904 Republican.
William Hickman Moore 3/19/1906 Democrat
John F. Miller 3/16/1908 Republican.
Hiram C. Gill 3/21/1910 Republican. Gill 17,971, William Hickman Moore 14,672. Gill was recalled by special election held February 9, 1911
George W. Dilling 2/11/1911 Dilling was elected to fill the unexpired term.
George F. Cotterill 3/18/1912 Cotterill 32,085, Hiram C. Gill 31,281.
Hiram C. Gill 3/16/1914 Gill 37,654, J.D. Trenholme 22,918.
Hiram C. Gill 3/20/1916 Gill 35,336, A.E. Griffiths 29,828.
Ole Hanson 3/18/1918 Hanson 32,286, J.A. Bradford 27,677. Hanson left the City for California on March 18, 1919 and resigned August 28, 1919.
C.B. Fitzgerald 8/28/1919 Fitzgerald was appointed to fill Hanson’s unexpired term.
Hugh M. Caldwell 3/15/1920 Caldwell 50,965, James Duncan 33,727.
Edwin J. Brown 6/5/1922 Brown 40,394, Dan Landon 28,541.
Edwin J. Brown 6/2/1924 Brown 40,740, Al Lundeen 36,742.
Bertha K. Landes 6/7/1926 Landes 48,700, Edwin J. Brown 42,802. Landes was the first woman mayor of a large metropolitan American city. She was defeated for re-election.
Frank E. Edwards 6/4/1928 Edwards 58,873, Bertha K. Landes 39,818.
Frank E. Edwards 6/2/1930 Edwards 54,369, Otto Case 35,878. Edwards was recalled at a special election on July 13, 1931, following the controversy over his dismissal of J.D. Ross, Superintendent of Lighting.
Robert H. Harlin 7/14/1931 Harlin was appointed by City Council to fill the unexpired term. He was defeated for re-election.
John F. Dore 6/6/1932 Dore 72,614, Robert H. Harlin 41,279.
Charles L. Smith 6/4/1934 Smith 62,185, Dore 46,469. Smith was defeated for re-election in the 1936 primary election.
John F. Dore 6/1/1936 Dore 53,385, Arthur B. Langlie 46,578. Dore became gravely ill and was relieved of his office by City Council on April 13, 1938. He died five days later.
Arthur B. Langlie 4/27/1938 Langlie 80,149, Victor A. Meyers 48563. Langlie had been elected Mayor and took office early (by Council appointment) due to the death of Dore.
Arthur B. Langlie 6/3/1940 Langlie 69,971, Warren L. Cook 19,766. Langlie resigned January 11, 1941 to become Governor of the State of Washington.
John E. Carroll 1/27/1941 Carroll was appointed to serve until an election could be held in March 1941.
Earl Millikin 3/27/1941 Millikin 53,794, William F. Devin 48,508. Millikin was elected to serve the remainder of Langlie’s term.
William F. Devin 6/1/1942 Devin 64,837, Earl Millikin 43,684.
William F. Devin 6/1/1944 Devin 58,000, James Scavotto 40,780.
William F. Devin 6/1/1946 Devin 71,288, Victor A. Meyers 55,082.

Mayors, 1948-present
A new Freeholders Charter in 1946 changed the term of the Mayor to four years. Washington State laws of 1963 changed City elections from the spring to the fall begining in 1967. Elections were to be held in odd-numbered years with terms of office beginning January 1 of the following even-numbered years. Because of the 1963 state law, the term of the 1964 mayoral race winner was extended to December 31, 1969.

Name Date Term Began Notes
William F. Devin 6/1/1948 Devin 68,071, Allan Pomeroy 65,632.
Allan Pomeroy 6/1/1952 Pomeroy 79,706, William F. Devin 76,922.
Gordon S. Clinton 6/4/1956 Clinton 89,111, Allan Pomeroy 80,608.
Gordon S. Clinton 4/6/1960 Clinton 84,274, Gordon Newell 37,897.
J.D. (Dorm) Braman 4/6/1964 Braman 95,699, John A. Cherberg 83,205. Braman resigned March 23, 1969 to become Assistant Secretary of Urban Systems and Environment at the U.S. Department of Transporation.
Floyd C. Miller 3/24/1969 Miller was appointed interim Mayor until a new Mayor could be elected at the November 1969 general election.
Wesley C. Uhlman 12/1/1969 Uhlman 99,290, R. Mort Frayn 56,312. Uhlman took office early due to Braman’s resignation.
Wesley C. Uhlman 1/1/1974 Uhlman 97,115, Liem Tuai 91,849.
Charles Royer 1/1/1978 Royer 100,615, Paul Schell 75,649.
Charles Royer 1/1/1982 Royer 106,642, Sam Smith 34,796.
Charles Royer 1/1/1986 Royer 86,811, Norm Rice 49,700.
Norman B. Rice 1/1/1990 Rice 99,699, Douglas Jewett 75,446.
Norman B. Rice 1/1/1994 Rice 119,695, David Stern 63,461.
Paul Schell 1/1/1998 Schell 106,414, Charlie Chong 81,683.
Greg Nickels 1/1/2002 Nickels 86,403, Mark Sidran 83,245.
Greg Nickels 1/1/2006 Nickels 115,257, Al Runte 62,591
Mike McGinn 1/1/2010 McGinn 105,492, Joe Mallahan 98,302
Ed Murray 1/1/2014 Murray 106,384, Mike McGinn 97,935