Cascadia Advocate readers, we have another lead change in a Seattle citywide race! Today, author and activist Nikkita Oliver ascended to the first place spot in the contest for Seattle City Council Position #9, edging Fremont Brewing cofounder Sara Nelson in the fifth count of ballots in this election.
Oliver now has 40.15% of the vote, while Nelson has 39.52%.
Brianna Thomas remains in third place with 13.4%.
Here’s the numbers for the top three candidates:
Seattle City Council Position #9 (At-Large)
- Nikkita Oliver: 40.15% (78,774 votes)
- Sara Nelson: 39.52% (77,546 votes)
- Brianna Thomas: 13.4% (26,300 votes)
As of press time, the campaign had not responded to the latest results on Twitter, though last week it did publish a celebratory statement. That read:
“We’re advancing to the general election! Thank you to all of the amazing volunteers, partner organizations, and supporters who’ve put in years of work to make this possible. We’re so excited to take this people-powered energy all the way to City Hall in November!”
Last week, we saw not one, but two lead changes in the race for Seattle City Attorney, as Nicole Thomas-Kennedy surged from third place to first, zooming past incumbent Pete Holmes as well as Holmes’ other challenger, Ann Davison.
Nicole Thomas-Kennedy and Nikkita Oliver are both supported by the city’s most progressive wings and received the endorsement of The Stranger.
NPI’s July 2021 polling suggested that the top vote getting candidate in the race for Position #9 would be Oliver. 26% of respondents to our survey last month said they were voting for Oliver, while 11% said they were voting for Nelson and 6% said they were voting for Thomas. 50% — half — said they were not sure.
On Election Night, it was Nelson who had the largest share of the vote — a plurality, not a majority — and a healthy lead over Oliver, having evidently picked up a lot of support between the dates our survey fielded and August 3rd.
However, that lead has totally evaporated and first place belongs to Oliver.
The left-leaning late ballot boom is also lifting Lorena González, the current Position #9 officeholder, who is leaving the Council to run for Mayor.
González was The Stranger’s pick for the city’s top job and was also heavily backed by the region’s labor movement along with the Working Families Party.
González has significantly cut Bruce Harrell’s lead down since Election Night, pulling within just a few points of her former colleague. Harrell’s share of the vote has shrunk while hers has grown. She now has 32.09% of the vote, while Harrell has 34.10%. For context, on Election Night, the gap between Harrell and González was about ten points. That is some serious movement in late ballots!
We know that a huge percentage of those voters who turned out in Seattle did so in the final hours of the election — very few people voted early — so it makes sense that these post-Election Night drops are highly consequential.
In our poll, 88% of respondents said they were “definitely” going to vote, yet in three out of the four citywide races, majorities of them said they were undecided even after being asked twice who they were voting for.
King County Elections reports that it only has 1,700 ballots left to count across the whole county, so the ground is unlikely to shift much further in any of the August Top Two races prior to certification. The rest of the tabulations will consist of only small numbers of ballots. Consequently, anyone who has a lead as of tonight is almost certainly going to have that lead a week from tomorrow when the final results are certified by the canvassing boards.