Challenger Egan Orion was feeling strong on Election Night but the ongoing updates of totals for the District 3 primary show that he will need every bit of his political muscle to catch — and keep up — with incumbent Kshama Sawant and her Socialist Alternative-powered “get out the vote” final kick.
Final tallies won’t be certified until next week, but with updates slowing to a trickle, it seems safe to say Sawant will finish above 36% of the vote. That means the incumbent City Council member has stretched her lead by nearly 4 points thanks to yet another strong performance with late voters. In tallies since Election Night, Sawant has claimed more than 40% of the vote.
Second place finisher Orion, who is set to join Sawant in the November General Election race, has lost ground since Election Night but will still claim more than 21% of the vote. He has tallied around 18% of ballots counted after the initial Election Night tally.
Pat Murakami, meanwhile, might just hold on for a third place finish though Zachary Dewolf has been inching up behind her and now trails the Beacon Hill business owner and neighborhood advocate by a mere 132 votes. Unfortunately, in this race, third place gets you little more than a note in the neighborhood news blog.
District 3, we should note, has clawed its way back to the top as Seattle’s most voting-est district, producing a near-47% turnout as of the latest counts.
CHS reported on the Election Night victories for Sawant and Orion as the political battle between social progressives and pro-business liberals is set to play out in a contest sure to further cement Seattle’s vaunted place as a Socialist Hellhole(tm).
As for forecasting November totals based on the Primary, it’s unlikely to be as simple of adding the more centrist candidate totals to Orion’s numbers and the more liberal to Sawant’s. Voters, you probably can attest, sort out a variety of strategies when voting in a top-two primary. Sometimes, that strategy is to simply vote for the best candidate. Other times, a vote might have more to do with who you *don’t* want to win. For now, It’s probably most realistic to start with a 50/50 prediction.
Both candidate camps have gone mostly quiet to end August. Both Sawant’s committee meetings — the Select Committee on Homelessness and Housing Affordability and the Human Services, Equitable Development, and Renter Rights Committee sessions — were canceled leading into the body’s late summer break. Expect to see things swing back into action with a wave of forums starting next month including the GSBA’s event at the Broadway Performance Hall on September 10th.
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