About Pete Holmes

Pete Holmes, now in his third term as Seattle City Attorney, is the only elected city attorney in Washington State. He supervises an office of about 100 lawyers and 85 legal professionals as Seattle's misdemeanor prosecutor and, under the City Charter, has sole supervisory control of all of the City's litigation.

Pete has been an outspoken critic of the War on Drugs, dismissing all pending marijuana possession cases upon taking office on Jan. 1, 2010, and declining to file any subsequent charges. He was a primary sponsor of I-502, culminating in Washington's 2012 vote to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana for adult use. In 2018, Pete moved to vacate the records of those previously convicted for simple marijuana possession in Seattle.  

Also in his first year in office, Pete acted to dramatically reduce prosecutions of DWLS3 (driving while license suspended, third degree), otherwise known as "driving while poor." He instructed prosecutors to stop requesting suspended jail sentences totaling 365 days in order to avoid mandatory deportations of documented immigrants convicted of minor crimes. The following year, Pete helped convince the Legislature to limit the maximum jail sentence for every misdemeanor in the state to 364 days, thus limiting the reach of dysfunctional federal immigration laws across the state. Pete is an ardent supporter of Seattle's Race & Social Justice Initiative.

Pete has long been an advocate for police reform. Pete was appointed in 2002 by City Council as an original member of SPD's first civilian oversight body, the Office of Professional Accountability Review Board, and served as chair from 2003 to 2008.

As City Attorney, Pete has worked to make Seattle municipal government more transparent. He was appointed to the State Sunshine Committee by Governors Gregoire and Inslee. On the national front, Pete is proud to be a founding member of Prosecutors Against Gun Violence and Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration, and is a longtime member of the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement.

Before his election, Pete worked as a business litigation attorney in Seattle for almost 25 years. He graduated from Yale College in 1978 with a B.A. degree in American Studies, concentrating in Energy and Environmental Sciences. He worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., in Washington, D.C., before entering the University of Virginia School of Law, where he earned his J.D. in 1984.

Pete has two adult children and is a longtime resident of the Seward Park neighborhood along with his wife, Ann.