With a list of promises and a group of strong endorsements, former Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel entered the race for City Council Position 7.

Pugel, a longtime Queen Anne resident, made a public announcement at Occidental Park on Tuesday, Jan. 29.

Pugel is the seventh candidate to announce their campaign for the district, which includes Downtown, Queen Anne and Magnolia. Councilmember Sally Bagshaw announced earlier this year she was not running for a fourth term.

"I want to thank Sally Bagshaw for her service over the last eight or nine years," Pugel said. “I've had the chance to work with her as a police commander, and her dedication to the city, and especially District 7, is beyond reproach."

Pugel served as the city's police chief for 14 years, starting as a Seattle police officer in 1981 and working his way through the ranks. Former Seattle Mayor Ed Murray changed his status to interim chief in 2014.

Pugel told Tuesday's crowd that he's worked many city jobs that can be considered unique to Seattle.

"I was born here and raised here ... my mom and dad bought their first house in South Seattle in 1954," Pugel said. “I grew up knowing the value of hard work, the power of a union card as working as a steelworker at Northwest Steel Rolling Mills, as a baggage handler at Greyhound Bus depot and as a bottler at Rainier Brewery."

Pugel graduated from the University of Washington in 1982.

Pugel is focusing his campaign on a number of large issues; his top priority is affordable housing. He spoke about how home prices in Seattle have skyrocketed before his eyes, using his first home as an example. Pugel and his wife purchased a home in Seattle in 1982.

“Just as a footnote, that house is in Fremont, we bought it in '82 with my wife. It was sold for $55,000. We got a discounted mortgage for 8.5 percent. And it just sold recently for the fourth or fifth time since we moved for just under $1 million,” Pugel said. “That's the challenge of affordability in this city."

District 7 faces an identity change while homeless and affordable housing activists go toe-to-toe with outspoken residents like Queen Anne Community Council member Marty Kaplan and City Council District 7 candidate Elizabeth Campbell, who are both known for trying to preserve single-family zoning and park space.

Pugel said he believes he can bridge the gap between the two groups while also finding ways to create sustainable growth with affordable options.

“The whole goal is to bring people together," he said. “We will never stop growth. The city of Seattle stopped making land years ago; we can either go up or down ... I've been on Queen Anne since '92, and many of the places have been upzoned and rezoned. A place that just used to be a duplex is now an eight-story complex, and that happened just two blocks away from me. We can figure out how to get people housed for less money while maintaining the quality and safety of a neighborhood."

Pugel's other priority is local police reform. Pugel's past experience in law enforcement could be an advantage or a hindrance to his campaign. He recently received a lot of support and blowback from publicly backing Initiative 940, which focused on statewide police reform.

During the announcement, Pugel received praise and support from a few well-known Seattle leaders, such as Public Defenders Association executive director Lisa Dauggard, Dan Malone, a response advocate for the homeless nonprofit Downtown Emergency Service Center, and gun-reform advocate Renee Hopkins. Although not at the event, King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknect and County Councilmember Larry Gossett announced their support for Pugel in a news release.

One supporter who knows Pugel on a more personal level was Chandler Gayton, who was friends with Pugel's son Jimmy Pugel when they were growing up. Gayton, a young black man, said Pugel was his first experience with law enforcement.

“I've known Jim for the majority of my life and he's been a big part of making me the person I am today," Gayton said. "As a 10-year-old black kid, I didn't fully grasp the magnitude of a white police officer who was genuinely passionate about what he could do to help the community around him."

Gayton now works closely with King County officials and will work with Pugel on his campaign. He said Pugel inspired him when he saw him participate in excessive force retraining classes and other law enforcement training that focused on racial bias and profiling.

"You can tell when someone just wants to show face or to show up to these events to check a box," Gayton said. "Or maybe their superior told them they had to come. But Jim would stay after these meetings and ask the community, ‘What can we do better to help the situation?’ It speaks to his character."

The deadline for candidates to file for council elections is in May.

The primary election is on Aug. 6, and Election Day is on Tuesday, Nov. 5.