Offering daily news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Progressive slate leads in closely watched 2017 Seattle School Board contests

Grassroots education advocates in Seattle can take comfort in early results for this year’s contests for school board positions. Emerald City voters are enthusiastically backing a trio of candidates whose commitment to public schools is not in doubt.

In the contest for Position #4, Washington’s Paramount Duty cofounder Eden Mack is truly cleaning up with an astonishing 67.46% of the vote. She has more support than all of her opponents combined… times two. That’s really impressive.

A jubilant Mack commemorated the big lead on Facebook by posting photos from her election night party, where everyone was in high spirits. “Celebrating 67% of the vote with my neighbors at our block party! Thank you all who voted for me!!!!”

In the contest for Position #5, Zachary Pullin DeWolf has established a comfortable lead of his own, although not as impressive as Mack’s. He’s got 43.19% of the vote, trailed by Omar Vasquez at 18.18% and Andre Helmstetter at 16.46%.

Helmstetter is close enough to Vasquez that he may be able to move into second place as late ballots are counted. Grassroots education activists would like to see Vasquez eliminated, as he is a supporter of charter schools.

In the contest for Position #7, Betty Patu appears on her way to a third term. The widely respected incumbent school board member is crushing it with 65.52% of the vote. Challenger Chelsea Byers is far behind at 22.76%.

Mack, Pullin DeWolf, and Patu were all backed by the King County Democrats and the city’s Democratic legislative district organizations.