Local elections don’t generally stir up much excitement (despite their importance) but the battle for Seattle City Council’s District 3 seat in this year’s elections did manage to liven up the summer as incumbent Kshama Sawant faced a number of challengers including two out gay men vying for a seat that includes Capitol Hill, Seattle’s traditional LGBTQ neighborhood. The race was the most expensive in the city with Sawant facing criticism for the large number of out of town donations she received but her strongest opponent, Seattle Pridefest producer Egan Orion also racked up big donors, many from the city’s business community who are determined to oust Sawant and rid the council of what they see as her anti-business/pro socialist stance on local issues.
With backing from numerous business interests as well as an endorsement from the Seattle Times, Orion has held his own against the other four opponents in the race to emerge as the clear runner up to Sawant who currently leads with 33.95% of the vote while Orion holds a very strong second place with 23.19%. In a distant third, Pat Murakami with 13.65% and the race’s other gay candidate, current Seattle School Board member Zachary DeWolf with 12.64%. With about 75% of the votes counted, it’s all but confirmed that Sawant and Orion will head to the final November ballot.
AND, that will be an interesting fight. It’s likely both sides will continue to draw on financial support from sources that could make voters uncomfortable. Sawant’s support from national socialist groups vs Orion receiving big bucks from the likes of Amazon executives and property developers both come with strings attached.
Also, will Murakami and DeWolf throw their support behind either of the two candidates? Both Orion and Sawant need a lot of those votes to win the election.
To. Be. Continued….