Councilmember decides not to run for reelection

Chapman originally ran for office as service to community, plans to create podcast after term ends



Brandon Chapman is starting a weekly “Pullman Proud Podcast” after his term on the City Council ends.

ABBY DAVIS, Evergreen copy chief

While filling out the 2016 presidential election ballot, Brandon Chapman wrote in his Uncle Jim, former mayor of Susanville, California, for president of the U.S.

“If we were even close to a swing state … I wouldn’t be doing that, right, I would have voted,” Chapman said. “But in this case, my conscience was something else.”

Chapman, Pullman City Councilmember for Ward 3, said he wanted to pay homage to a man he admires and respects. Chapman comes from a family interested in local issues – a passion exemplified during his four-year tenure on the Pullman City Council.  

After examining how much emotional capital the position required, how much energy the job took, and whether serving as a councilmember was the right thing for his family, Chapman said he decided to not run for re-election in November. 

“I’ve got four kids, you know, and they’re all under the age of 18 and so being able to spend more time with them is really important,” he said. 

Chapman said stepping aside from the position is the right thing to do, and that he just needed the courage. 

“I can’t even tell you the peace that came upon me to finally make that decision,” he said. 

As one of two councilmembers for Ward 3, Chapman said he originally ran for the position as a service to the community and not as a stepping stone for greater political office. 

Residents in Ward 3 suffered from a void in communication from their councilmembers, he said. During his campaign, Chapman promised residents better communication, like monthly newsletters and town halls.

Chapman said he feels he delivered on the campaign promise. 

Nancy Mack, resident of Ward 3, said Pullman is losing an important, energetic councilmember who goes above and beyond.

“He has been a very proactive councilmember who actually looks into issues and seeks out answers, does the research and wants the community to know that City Council is making decisions on the behalf of the public,” she said. 

Mack said she appreciates Chapman’s approachability and was disappointed to hear about his decision. The two are neighbors and met when Chapman stopped by Mack’s house and offered to remove the snow off her front porch. 

“I always felt like I could talk to him and he would listen to my either very clever ideas or wild ideas,” she said. “He would take them under advisement.”

During his time on City Council, Chapman introduced Indigenous People’s Day. Chapman said he also helped change design standards in the city code for sidewalks, creating more walkable pathways.

Working with a local group of pickleball enthusiasts, Chapman said they put in four courts at Sunnyside Park and two courts at Kruegel Park. He is also working with community members on a $2 million, largely federally-funded, traffic-calming project on Harvest Drive on Pioneer Hill. 

At least 40 people messaged Chapman after his announcement about not seeking re-election. Chapman said all the messages were supportive. Although residents were disappointed, they understood his decision. 

“When you’re human with them and you explain to them that it’s right for you, it’s right for your emotion, your spirit, your mental health, it’s amazing how kind people can really be,” he said. 

Chapman said he loves Pullman and is not leaving the city after his term ends. He is a WSU alumnus and the director of marketing and communications for the WSU College of Education. 

Alongside a friend, Chapman is starting a weekly “Pullman Proud Podcast” after his term ends. Podcast episodes will include a news segment, opinion section and interviews with residents and business owners. 

The podcast will enable dialogue between various people to talk about different issues. Chapman is waiting until his term is up to launch the project. He said he wants to spend his last nine-and-a-half months on the City Council investing as much time and effort into the communication he already does. 

“I think [the podcast] is gonna be awesome,” he said. “That’s something that I’m looking forward to doing.”  

Chapman said he is excited to see who will step up to the plate and serve as the next councilmember of Ward 3.