Following election day Sawant has posted increasing gains on ballot counts (Image: CHS)
The resurgence of Kshama Sawant in her race with Richard Conlin for the incumbent’s City Council seat continues.
UPDATE 4:40 PM (11/14): Sawant continued her slow but steady accumulation of votes over Conlin on Thursday, surpassing him by 1,148 votes. Thursday’s ballot release also put the race out of automatic recount territory. The two candidates are now separated by .67% — an automatic recount is triggered if the race is within a .5% difference.
Returns as of 4:30 PM on November 14. (Image: King County Elections)
UPDATE Wednesday, November 13th, 4:45 PM: Sawant’s surge continued with Wednesday’s only scheduled vote count update. The challenger has now opened a 402-vote lead over her rival.
UPDATE Tuesday, November 12th, 4:40 PM: Following the release of Tuesday’s batch of ballots, Sawant has pulled ahead of Conlin by 41 votes. If Sawant continues to post similar leads over Conlin in the next couple days she will not only have caught the incumbent from behind — she’ll have won outright, no recount required. If these current percentages hold, however, an automatic recount would be triggered.
“We’re very hopeful we’re going to make history,” said Sawant campaign manager Ramy Khalil, who attributed the late ballot surge to October campaign endorsements.
On election night Conlin was more than 7 points ahead of Sawant, with a 6,000 vote lead. Sawant refused to concede the race — good thing since Sawant has continued to narrow in on the incumbent. As of Friday Sawant was only trailing Conlin by 1,237 votes, narrowing the race to under 1%. If elected, Sawant would be the first socialist candidate ever elected to the city council. Her pro-worker, pro-middle class and anti-poverty messages have apparently resonated with voters — at least in this race. CHS has reported on her efforts to champion a $15 minimum wage and rent control in the city.
The campaigns got word last week that some 5,600 ballots had been declared invalid, likely due to issues with ballot signatures. Over the weekend both campaigns launched efforts to reach out to voters whose ballots had been kicked backed. Continue reading