Incumbent Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda is having a pretty good night. While fellow incumbent City Attorney Pete Holmes is in the fight of his political life against two challengers who only emerged during Filing Week a few weeks ago, Mosqueda is cruising to reelection against a large field of forgettable challengers who haven’t raised much money or done much campaigning.
In the first batch of returns, Mosqueda has 54.64% of the vote, a convincing majority. Our polling indicated that Mosqueda would easily clinch the top spot, but also found a whopping 55% of voters undecided. Most of those not sure voters appear to have backed Mosqueda. But a significant chunk also went to a candidate who performed very poorly in our survey: Kenneth Wilson.
Wilson received 1% in the poll, but he has garnered 18.27% of the vote so far and is ahead of Kate Martin, who came in second in our poll.
Martin is pulling in twice as much support as in our survey (12.50% in these initial returns, compared to 6% in the poll), but that’s simply not good enough for second place due to Wilson’s massive and remarkable late surge.
Wilson is a licensed bridge structural engineer who owns a small business.
On his website, he says that his current projects include a pedestrian crossing over State Route 520 in NPI’s hometown of Redmond.
“As your council member, I will lean heavily on my analytical, engineering, and infrastructure background to bring rational decision making and progress control follow up to Council actions,” he says in a message to voters.
“King County’s maintenance inspection observed significant cracks in the Duvall Bridge’s twelve span 1,182-foot reinforced concrete box girders. We designed the external steel strengthening repair that winter and completed construction during a summer closure opening seven days early to its 17,000 vehicles a day,” Wilson writes on his website, citing a previous bridge repair project he worked on in East King County, in the Snoqulamie Valley, where Duvall is located.
“I have difficulty understanding that with 100,000 vehicles per day why the West Seattle Bridge had not been similarly prioritized for some level of opening,” Wilson goes on to say. “Trucks and buses must cross on the lower West Seattle Swing Bridge, but the upper West Seattle Bridge should have the heavy central concrete barrier rail removed, the heavy outer rails replaced with lighter ones, and the bridge opened immediately to a lane of car traffic each way.”
It sure looks like Wilson was able to somehow break through and connect with voters in the days since our poll was in the field last month, despite having only raised $3,125.00. According to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, Wilson’s campaign has just seven contributors, and aside from paying the filing fee for office, he has only spent money on signs and a website.
That suggests voters found his voter’s pamphlet statement compelling.
Martin has raised $23,900 from 493 contributors and spent $13,550.63.
Mosqueda has raised $180,603 and spent $122,459.82.
Barring an interesting turn of events during the counting of the late ballots, Wilson looks like Mosqueda’s general election opponent.
Martin definitely has third place locked up with 12.5% — no other candidate is even above 2% — but since only the top two candidates will move on to the general election, Martin is on the verge of elimination.
4,774 votes currently separate Wilson and Martin.