Socialist Alternative party candidate, Kshama Sawant, appears on the verge of taking the lead and not looking back in her race vs. incumbent Democratic Seattle City Councilperson Richard Conlin.
During the vote count of Friday evening, Sawant won 58.4% of the vote, according to The Stranger’s David “Goldy” Goldstein, resulting in her now sitting only 1,237 votes shy of Conlin’s tally thus far. According to King County Elections, there are still 33,016 votes left to count in Seattle. Not counting the handful of votes left to trickle in, Sawant need only win 51.87% of those 33,016 votes to take the lead. According to the Sawant campaign, if the trend continues, they will win by more than 1.6% by the time all of the votes are counted.
Since Election Night Tuesday, the trend in votes counted has been in favor all of the left-leaning or anti-establishment candidates in Seattle. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn won’t win his re-election bid, but has cut into State Senator Ed Murray’s share of the vote to the point that they now sit at 53%-46.5% (Murray-McGinn) after standing at 56%-43% Election Night. Liberal City Councilperson Mike O’Brien was always leading by a wide margin, but has only increased his share of the votes to 66.52% vs. business-backed candidate, Albert Shen.
Similarly, Seattle’s Prop. 1, which would provide public financing for Seattle municipal candidates that qualified for it, appeared to be set to fail by a solid margin on Election Night with the measure failing at a 46–54 margin. While YES on Seattle’s Prop. 1 still remains a darkhorse, that margin is now only 48.78%-51.22% (YES-NO). Again, calculating based on the 33,016 votes left to count in Seattle, YES on the measure could take the lead if it earns 55.89% of those remaining votes.
Conversely, SeaTac’s Prop. 1, which would set a $15/hour minimum wage for airport and hotel workers, appeared set to sail to victory with a 54%-46% margin on Election Night. Unlike in the case of last-minute Seattle voters which trended strongly toward left-leaning candidates, the YES! for SeaTac campaign worked hard for weeks to encourage their supporters to return their ballots early. This has resulted in a dramatic drop in their vote margin as more and more votes have been counted. Worryingly, the YES side led by only 55 votes as of the ~ 4:30 PM vote count today. As each day after Election night saw the YES campaign’s share of the vote reduce by a whole percent (1%) or more, I can say that I was dreading refreshing the vote total on my browser this evening. Thankfully, the bloodletting has appeared to stopped, or at least paused for the time-being, with vote margin cut by only another dozen votes resulting in a 43 vote lead as of the 8:10 PM vote count this evening.
One can assume that both sides of the SeaTac Prop. 1 campaign will be chasing ballots to either solidify or overtake the YES campaign’s narrowest of leads, but we can only hope that after putting the brakes on their downward slide, supporters of a livable wage can actually start growing their lead again.