By Nicholas Johnson

At its first meeting of the year Tuesday night (Jan. 11, 2022), SeaTac City Councilmembers elected Jake Simpson to serve as mayor and Senayet Negusse to serve as deputy mayor through 2023.

Newly-elected councilmember Simpson was nominated to serve as mayor Tuesday evening by fellow newly-elected councilmember Iris Guzman; former Deputy Mayor Peter Kwon nominated himself for the role.

In a roll call vote, Simpson received support from councilmembers Negusse, Guzman, Kwon and Mohamed Egal. Former Mayor Erin Sitterley, who had held the title since late September 2018, cast the lone no vote; councilmember Takele Gobena was absent.

In November 2021, Simpson won election to council Position No. 2 in a race against incumbent Stan Tombs, who had been appointed in June 2020 to fill a vacancy created when former councilmember Joel Wachtel resigned. Simpson was sworn in Nov. 23, 2021, upon certification of the Nov. 2 election.

Following Simpson’s ascension to mayor Tuesday evening, Guzman nominated Negusse to serve as deputy mayor. In a roll call vote, Negusse received support from Simpson, Kwon, Egal and Guzman while Sitterley again cast the lone no vote.

Negusse won election to council Position No. 1 in November 2019 in a race against candidate Tony Anderson.

The mayor serves as chair of the city council, presiding over meetings, and is recognized as the head of the city for ceremonial purposes and by the governor for purposes of military law. The deputy mayor serves in the absence or temporary disability of the mayor.

Nicholas Johnson (he/him) is an award-winning writer, editor and photographer who grew up in Boulevard Park, graduated from Highline High School and studied journalism at Western Washington University. Send news tips, story ideas and positive vibes to