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August primary results: Seattle library, juvenile justice levies on pace for approval

With many races in the August primary little more than warm-up for fall, there appear to be a few decisive victories in early results from King County voters.

With a little more than 20% of ballots tallied, both proposed levies on the ballot appear to have been approved. King County Prop 1, which will create a new property tax to fund the overhaul of the county’s juvenile justice facility in the Central District, was approved on 52.6% of ballots. Our partners at Central District News looked at what’s next for 12th and Alder if the measure passes. Meanwhile, Seattle voters are set to approve a tax to bolster funding of the Seattle Public Library system.

In candidate races, Seattle Central’s Kshama Sawant was being handily outdistanced by Capitol Hill resident and incumbent Jamie Pedersen in voting for the state legislature’s 43rd District, position 1 seat but fared relatively well in the Stranger-inspired write-in vote for position 2 where she appears on track to out poll Frank Chopp’s named opponent. Another new face to the area political scene is not destined to appear on the fall ballott. Andrew Hughes pulled only 5.9% of the vote as incumbent Jim McDermott is set to move on to face his Republican challenger in November. Another November preview? Democratic candidate for governor Jay Inslee turned in a strong performance in early results.

King County Prop 1

City of Seattle Prop 1

43rd, Position 2

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Andrew Taylor
8 years ago

for the quick easy summary.

Governor’s race split along the typical “Cascade Curtain” lines, I see.

Not always the case: the 2008 Death with Dignity Act (which I have had a personal interest in) was supported across the State:

8 years ago

Looking like every incumbent that is running again will be elected outright or make it to the primary. Voters are approving both measures that ask for higher property taxes (which means higher rents for those that do not own). This is a sign that Seattle is doing great, everything is fine, nothing needs changing, and there is plenty of money to spend on infrastructure and services.

I don’t know if this is truly good news or if voters are idiots. Discuss.

8 years ago

I think, especially compared to other areas/states, Seattle probably is doing ‘fine’ or at least OK. Sure, there are things that need fixing/improving, and there’s never enough money in the budget, but voting out all of the incumbents is not necessarily going to bring positive changes. Incumbents are generally a known quantity and if you agree with more of their position than not, even if you don’t agree with it 100%, then it makes sense to vote them back in. People like consistency, and our government is designed to function best – particularly at the federal level – when things progress slowly and consistently.

8 years ago

“and there is plenty of money to spend on infrastructure and services.”

Or it says that the city does not collect enough in tax revenue to cover the services we care about, but we are willing to pay for what is important like a great library system. To me, this is a wonderful thing.

Ryan in the sky
8 years ago

Do you know what happens in the very unlikely event that he wins two races?

8 years ago

Quite honestly, I expected McKenna to do better than Inslee in this primary. My gut feeling is many were turned off on his joining the lawsuit against Healthcare Reform.

As a Progressive Independent, I’m not pleased with the implosion that the Republican Party is going through in this state. We need viable strong candidates to have a healthy discourse and ideas. I believe Cantwell jas done a good job as senator, but honestly, is there no strong Republican to run against her? If McKenna-who most assumed was the best hope for the Republicans in this state-can’t clinch the deal, who will? I thought Reagan Dunn might be the future, but he didn’t poll very well, amd he certainly doesn’t have his Mother’s savvy.

8 years ago

People, *please* do not read this barely-visible-horizon analysis as if it were significant trending. Just imagine if the article had read, “With nearly 80% of ballots still not tallied” — says the same thing, which is “here’s how a small minority of people voted, and we really don’t know anything about what the actual election results are going to be.”

I can’t tell if I’m more disappointed in CHS for making a story out of information which is fantastically statistically insignificant, or in the readers for swallowing it.

8 years ago

Pure speculation on my part, but I imagine if that happened, the candidate would have to withdraw from one race and the next runner-up would advance to the November ballot.

8 years ago

I’m surprised too there’s not R candidate running against Cantwell. She barely beat Slade Gorton 12 years ago.

Ryan in the sky
8 years ago

How else do we have fun with election results when we’re all-mail?

Philip Locker
8 years ago

The Candidate, Kshama Sawant, can pick which position she wants to appear on the ballot line – position 1 or position 2.

Philip Locker
8 years ago

Check out the statement from the Kshama Sawant campaign about our breakthrough results last night in the primary election.

You can read it here:

Kshama Sawant Wins 8.5% of Primary Vote Against Pedersen
Unprecedented Write-In Vote for Position 2 Could Challenge House Speaker Chopp

Kshama Sawant, the Socialist candidate running against Democratic incumbent Jamie Pedersen, has won 8.48% of the ballots in the preliminary count as of 8:15 P.M. on Tuesday, August 7 for the Washington State House in the 43rd District (position 1).

This is a remarkably successful primary election result for a grassroots, anti-corporate campaign running for the first time, given how stacked the election process is against progressive left-wing candidates and parties, and that the corporate media goes out of its way to ignore the left. On top of this is the massive advantage pro-corporate candidates have in terms of resources. The Pedersen campaign has raised over $85,000 from wealthy backers and corporations, while Sawant has raised $10,000 from ordinary people.

The Stranger endorsed Sawant as a write-in for Position 2 in the 43rd district, against Democratic Party incumbent and Speaker of the House Frank Chopp. As of last evening, overall write-ins for Position 2 (10.21%) exceeded the votes obtained by independent candidate Gregory Gadow (9.35%), who is on the primary ballot, but has officially pulled out of the race. It is likely that the vast majority of the write-in votes were for Kshama Sawant.

In the next few days as the write-in votes are fully counted, it is possible that Sawant will be declared the second place finisher against Frank Chopp in position 2, in addition to placing second in position 1. Such a development, unprecedented in recent memory, would represent a shock to the political establishment in Seattle and a rejection of the Democratic Party by the voters in the 43rd District.

It would also mean Sawant would have the right to choose which ballot line to appear on for the general election in November, position 1 (against Pedersen) or position 2 (against Chopp).

“We will wait for the final results of the write-ins for Position 2. But, the extraordinarily high proportion of write-in votes, along with the votes for Gadow, is a clear indication of the anger and discontent with Frank Chopp and his big business politics,” said Philip Locker, the Political Director of the Vote Sawant campaign.

These results show that the political mood is changing. People are outraged about big banks and corporations getting trillions in bailouts and tax breaks, while the rest of us are left with massive cuts to education and social programs, and ever-increasing poverty and unemployment.

The Sawant campaign has pointed out that years of Democratic Party holding the governorship and majorities in both the State House and Senate have resulted in an increasingly regressive tax system, decimation of public education, attacks on unions and state employees, and huge handouts to big corporations.

“Olympia is owned by Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, and Starbucks. Both the Democrats and the Republicans are loyal servants of their corporate masters. Where is the voice to represent ordinary working people?” asked Kshama Sawant.

Sawant’s opponent, Democratic incumbent Pedersen is a corporate lawyer. Pedersen has done commendable work for marriage equality, which Sawant supports and has personally marched and organized for. However, Pedersen, like his colleagues in the Democratic Party, is a big-business candidate and has a consistent anti-education, anti-labor voting record. That is why neither he nor Frank Chopp was endorsed by the Washington State Labor Council in a sharp break from tradition.

Sawant, who is running as a Socialist Alternative candidate, is the only candidate calling for the creation of a statewide public works program to create green living-wage jobs, reversing the budget cuts, and providing full funding for education, health care, and public transit by taxing big business and millionaires. She is calling for an end to police brutality in Seattle, and her campaign platform includes the creation of a democratically elected-civilian oversight committee with full powers to hold the police accountable.

“I think the results very resoundingly confirm what our position has been, and what our perspectives have been as socialists and activists—the Occupy Movement, the Arab Spring—I think people are hungry for a change. In the State of Washington, people for decades, have been locked in the stranglehold of big business—both the Democrats and the Republicans represent big business, and not ordinary people. It’s time for a change,” said Sawant to The Stranger newspaper.

“[We] are really looking forward to running a strong campaign in the general elections. I think that it would be fantastic for us to win, but our campaign—because we are running it as activists, and not as career politicians—we’re about the campaign itself, and getting the word out, and we want to get people politically involved,” she added. She also called for a series of public debates with Jamie Pedersen this fall.

The campaign is planning to energetically step up their grassroots work of getting the word out and using the election period to help build towards larger social movements to challenge the two parties of the 1% and put the 99% on the political agenda.

Prominent endorsers of Kshama Sawant’s campaign include: The Stranger, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587, Cindy Sheehan (Leading anti-war activist and 2012 Vice Presidential candidate), Rich Lang (pastor at University Temple United Methodist Church and Real Change Columnist*), Mike Lapointe (2012 Independent candidate for U.S. Congress from WA State District 2 and former Vice President of the United Electrical Workers Local 264), Eat the State!, Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity, Radical Women, Freedom Socialist Party. *For identification purposes only

How You Can Support our Campaign:

1) Like our Facebook page

2) Donate on-line at
Unlike our opponent and other Democratic and Republican candidates, we are not financed by big business and the 1%. Our campaign relies on funding from ordinary workers, young people, and activists. To mount a serious challenge to our corporate-backed opponent, we aim to raise $20,000. (Pedersen has already raised $80,000). If you support our campaign, please donate as much as you can, but even small contributions allow us to purchase signs, campaign materials, mailings and print ads, and to organize events.

3) Volunteer
We are running a 100% grassroots, working-class campaign. We rely on ordinary people contributing their time and energy to build our campaign. We need you to get involved! There are many things that we need help with, so you can definitely pick a task that works for you! Sign up at

4) Endorse our candidate
Invite the candidate and/or a campaign representative to talk with your organization about endorsing. Please also contact us if you can personally endorse as an individual. Please include exactly how you want to be listed, for example, as “John Gallup, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587 member.”

5) Join our organization, Socialist Alternative!
We have weekly activist meetings, events, and education programs to help people understand the key lessons of past protest movements, revolutions, and how to change society, but we need your help.

For more information or to get involved in the Sawant campaign and/or Socialist Alternative:
(206) 854-2501

Paid for by Vote Sawant / P.O. Box 85862, Seattle, WA 98145. Candidate party preference: Socialist Altern.

8 years ago

Must. Feed. Media. Machine. Empty. Calories.

8 years ago

I voted against the Library measure because it was aimed at funding basic library services (not capital improvements, which I voted for a few years back), and I think it’s a very dangerous precedent to fund our basic civic needs in this way. We already pay taxes to support libraries. We elect our city officials to find a way to fund things like this. By approving new taxes, we are in effect absolving our elected leaders of this responsibility. No money in the budget for libraries? No problem! We’ll go to the voters and they will surely approve a warm-and-fuzzy thing to generate more money.

8 years ago

I too am an independent, and it seems crucial to the democratic process that we have viable candidates towards the left and towards the right, so we can have a clear choice. A vigorous political debate leading up to an election is a cornerstone of our democracy, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to happen very often.

I was, and still am, open to voting for Rob McKenna, but indeed I am turned off by his leading role in the lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, and I am also dismayed by his opposition to gay marriage, even though the issue will be decided at the polls this November, so his opinion on this is moot. Jay Inslee? He seems like kind of a lightweight to me, but I’ll be listening to what he has to say in the next few months.