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Social services candidates forum comes to the Central District as City Council races heat up

Sawant speaking at a fast food workers rally at Pillars Park in August (Image: CHS)

Sawant speaking at a fast food workers rally at Pillars Park in August (Image: CHS)

With 50 days left in the Seattle City Council race, 15-year incumbent Richard Conlin and Socialist Alternative candidate Kshama Sawant are going head-to-head in a candidates forum Tuesday at 5:30 PM in the Garfield Community Center, 2323 E. Cherry St.

Seattle Human Services Coalition’s 2013 Candidates Forum

September 17th
5:30 PM to 8:00 PM

Garfield Community Center
2323 East Cherry Street
Seattle, WA 98122
Metro Transit Routes 3, 4, 48, 84

Invitees include candidates for:
King County Council Position 1, King County Executive, King County Sheriff
Seattle City Attorney, Seattle City Council and Seattle City Mayor

Moderated by Professor David Domke from the University of Washington

Free and open to the public!
Voter registration on site
Light refreshments will be served
Sign language and language interpretation and
child care services available upon request with RSVP.

For more information, visit:
http://shscoalition.org/2013electmenu.php

Three other incumbents also face challengers heading into November. Council members Mike O’Brien, Sally Bagshaw, and Nick Licata will be making their case for reelection in the coming weeks. O’Brien and Conlin both came out ahead in the August primary and face the stiffest competition heading into the general election. Bagshaw and Licata only faced one opponent each going into August, thus bypassing the primary.Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 11.41.41 AM

Conlin appearing at a 2012 community meeting to discuss development around the Capitol Hill Station (Image: CHS)

Conlin appearing at a 2012 community meeting to discuss development around the Capitol Hill Station (Image: CHS)

Position 2 – Conlin v. Sawant
Conlin is a 16-year incumbent who was behind the city’s plastic bag ban and one of only two elected officials to cast an opposition vote to a new SODO arena. Challenging Conlin is Socialist Alternative candidate Kshama Sawant, who’s running a campaign with strong ties to the Occupy movement. She advanced to the general election after coming in second in the August primary with 35% of the vote. Conlin took home 48%.

Sawant, who has has picked up endorsements from The Stranger and a handful of unions, has made supporting the $15 minimum wage the cornerstone of her campaign.

According to numbers from the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission, Sawant has raised $36,982 for her campaign, while Conlin has raised $177,732. Sawant is the first socialist candidate for city council to advance to a general in 25 years. The Seattle Times reported that in 1991, Yolanda Alaniz, a Freedom Socialist Party member, lost to incumbent Sue Donaldson.

Position 8  – O’Brien v. Shen
Albert Shen also poses a threat to unseat an incumbent this season. Shen picked up 34% of the vote in the August primary to O’Brien’s 59%. Shen is also currently the only incumbent to out-fundraise an incumbent. So far he’s amassed $149,498 to O’Brien’s $113,123.

Shen is a Capitol Hill resident and engineering consultant who calls himself a “back-to-basics progressive.” He served on President Obama’s National Finance Committee and on the Seattle Community College Board.

O’Brien is running his first reelection campaign since being elected to council in 2009. The former attorney and Sierra Club leader was the only council member to join mayor Mike McGinn in opposing the Alaskan Way deep-bore tunnel.

Positions 4 and 6
Bagshaw and Licata each face challenges from local rabble-rousers that pose less of a threat than challengers in the Conlin and O’Brien races. Sam Bellomio is challenging Bagshaw at Position 4. Bellomio is a local political activist described as a loud and combative presence at city and county public meetings. He is also vice president of StandUp-America. In the Position 6 race, Socialist Workers Party candidate Edwin Fruit is challenging Licata. Fruit is married to fellow socialist candidate for mayor, Mary Martin.

Bellomio and Furit have not reported any funds raised for their campaign, according to PDC numbers. Bagshaw has raised $99,726 and Licata has raised $88,844.

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  1. Pingback: City Hall | Numbers behind Murray’s big poll results, Capitol Hill forum, 43rd endorses Conlin | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle