After over of a million dollars of super PAC money, it now appears taht Jeff Bezos and his Evil Minions™ have not managed to flip a single seat in the Seattle city council:
Council Member Kshama Sawant has all but assured her victory over Egan Orion after a Friday night ballot drop put her 1,515 votes and 3.62 percentage points over her Amazon-approved challenger. With an estimated 1,157 votes left to count in District 3, Sawant has essentially guaranteed that she will be reelected to her third term on the council.
Friday night’s ballot drop also delivered some unfortunate news for the council race’s other socialist. Shaun Scott is still sitting 5 percentage points behind Amazon-backed Alex Pedersen in District 4. With Scott trailing by 1,579 votes his chances of a win have sadly ended. Although Scott’s final vote count is far better than what many observers expected and far better than the nearly 16 percentage points he was trailing on Tuesday’s election night.
Andrew Lewis expanded his lead over Jim Pugel in District 7. Lewis is now over 2,000 votes ahead of Pugel, a dramatic swing from the 200-vote deficit Lewis started with on Tuesday night.
Friday night’s vote tally essentially guarantees terrible results for Amazon and the Chamber of Commerce’s record-breaking election spending spree. If the results Friday night hold—and there’s little reason to think the outcomes will change—the chamber supported only two winning candidates: Pedersen and Debora Juarez in District 7. Both of those candidates were already favorites before the chamber started spending millions in this election.
Only 5 percent of King County’s votes still need to be counted after Friday’s two ballot drops, according to a spokesperson for King County Elections.
Just in case you are wondering, the reason for the delays in counting is Washington State’s vote by mail system, where late arriving votes tend to be more progressive:
Raise your hand if you are confused by the way the vote totals have been counted in the days post-election. Okay, great. And is this your first time paying attention to a local election? Noted. Now, do you know how mail-in elections work?
Mail-in elections have been the standard in Washington state since 2009. This means the gradual process for counting ballots has been around for 10 years, so people should really know what’s going on. “It’s always been this way,” Kendall Hodson, chief of staff for King County Elections, told The Stranger, “People do tend to forget every year.”
To put things in perspective, mail-in elections are tough because 60,000 ballots came in the mail the day after election day. They were all good and kosher, post-marked on election day as they should be. Snail mail is just, snail mail. Add to that the 215,000 they collected from drop boxes that were delivered on election night that weren’t counted until the days after and it starts to seem less of a conspiracy theory and more of an “oh, that’s just the process.”
I know that there is going to be some sort of pablum about needing to work together coming from the Seattle Times and its ilk, but this should be ignored.
Amazon, Chamber of Commerce, the real estate industry, etc. went nuclear, and made a shambles of Seattle’s public election financing system, and they will keep coming back again, and again, and again until they realize that they have made implacable enemies on the council.
To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, “When you strike at a king, you must kill him.”
With progressives having a 5:2 majority on the City Council, they need focus on reducing the political power of the “rich pigs” in Seattle.
The truth is, there are no progressives on the city council here. The conventional members are chamber of commerce liberals, who might if pressed look at police reform.
I voted to Sawant, but she is just an irritant and best, and pretty damned dumb. I wish a real socialist would have run, not a Militant Tendency wanna be. Reminds me of an old political cartoon of a mouse in front of a cat with a sign saying "Cat's Suck."
A general problem with Seattle politicians is that they don't understand governing, and thus the commercial interests run rings about them.
That was my sense of Sawant as well, I'm just glad that Bezos lost.