Pete Holmes was Seattle’s elected City Attorney for three terms, from 2010-2021. Immediately upon taking office in January 2010, Pete halted all prosecutions for marijuana possession. In 2011, he sponsored Initiative 502, which along a similar voter initiative in Colorado, first legalized the adult use of marijuana in the United States. A data-driven progressive prosecutor, dedicated public servant and volunteer, Pete retired from elected office at the end of 2021.
Holmes previously served as an original member of the Seattle Police Department’s Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB), reviewing police misconduct investigations, policy and procedures, and maintaining civilian oversight of the police department. He served as OPARB chair between 2003 and 2008, where he advocated for public release of police records and OPARB reports.
Holmes was born in Richmond, Virginia, and grew up on a small family farm in Buckingham County where he attended public school. He earned his B.A. from Yale in 1978, majoring in American Studies, with a concentration in Energy & Environmental Science. He went to work at the Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., in Washington, D.C. In 1984, he earned his law degree from the University of Virginia. He moved to Seattle in 1985 to begin his complex civil litigation practice, eventually specializing in business bankruptcy law. He remained in private practice for over 25 years.
Pete has two adult children, and lives with his wife in South Seattle’s Rainier Valley.