NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021

Toshiko Grace Hasegawa overtakes Peter Steinbrueck in closely contested Port race

In last night’s ini­tial Elec­tion Night returns, as we dis­cussed here on The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate, the clos­est Port of Seat­tle Com­mis­sion race was between incum­bent Peter Stein­brueck and chal­lenger Toshiko Grace Hasegawa for Posi­tion #4. With 22.24% of bal­lots count­ed, Stein­brueck held a small 1,537 vote lead, and we assessed that Hasegawa might over­take Stein­brueck in the late ballots.

It took less than twen­ty-four hours for that pro­jec­tion to be fulfilled.

As of this after­noon’s bal­lot drop, Hasegawa is now out in front, hav­ing acquired a slim two hun­dred and sev­en­ty-five vote lead over Steinbrueck.

A total of 361,615 votes have now been tab­u­lat­ed in King Coun­ty. There are 1,400,321 eli­gi­ble vot­ers in the elec­tion for Port races.

King Coun­ty Elec­tions has esti­mat­ed that turnout may reach 46% for this Novem­ber phase of the elec­tion cycle, which would mean just over 644,000 votes tab­u­lat­ed pri­or to cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. If King Coun­ty Elec­tions’ esti­mate proves true, we are only just over halfway done with tab­u­lat­ing this elec­tion’s votes.

If you haven’t been pay­ing close atten­tion to this race for Port Com­mis­sion, here’s our primer from yes­ter­day about the matchup.

Steinbrueck vs. Hasegawa: The contest for Position #4

Stein­brueck is enthu­si­as­tic about reduc­ing pol­lu­tion and elec­tri­fy­ing the Port’s oper­a­tions. He con­sid­ers him­self a firm envi­ron­men­tal­ist (espe­cial­ly in his cre­ation of the Port’s first “tree inven­to­ry”) and favors equi­table access to jobs and appren­tice­ship pro­grams and work­ing to achieve cli­mate jus­tice at all lev­els with the wan­ing of the pan­dem­ic. He has been crit­i­cized as out of touch fol­low­ing sev­er­al exchanges with activists and oth­er local officials.

Hasegawa is the daugh­ter of State Sen­a­tor Bob Hasegawa and has pre­vi­ous­ly served on numer­ous boards on behalf of his­tor­i­cal­ly mar­gin­al­ized com­mu­ni­ties. She has also served as Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Wash­ing­ton State Com­mis­sion on Asian Pacif­ic Amer­i­can Affairs since late 2018. She con­sid­ers exist­ing fund­ing for mit­i­ga­tion of Port activ­i­ties for adverse­ly affect­ed com­mu­ni­ties “a drop in the buck­et” and wants sig­nif­i­cant expan­sion of the program.

Toshiko Hasegawa introduces Elizabeth Warren

Toshiko Hasegawa intro­duces Sen­a­tor Eliz­a­beth War­ren at one of her final cam­paign events of 2020, which was held at Seat­tle Cen­ter (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Like for­mer pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Eliz­a­beth War­ren, who she intro­duced at her final Seat­tle cam­paign appear­ance last year, Hasegawa has pro­posed a Blue New Deal spe­cif­ic to the needs of the Port and the com­mu­ni­ty it serves, with an empha­sis on improved trans­porta­tion (both via rail and roads), elec­tri­fi­ca­tion, off­shore wind and solar ener­gy instal­la­tions and union jobs.

Updated numbers are due tomorrow afternoon

King Coun­ty Elec­tions’ next bal­lot drop will be released some­time tomor­row after­noon, like­ly between 4 and 5 PM Pacif­ic Time. That drop will be much larg­er than today’s, with a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of bal­lots expect­ed to be tallied.

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