Despite a boldly partisan plea, Pamela Banks failed again Tuesday night to win the support of the 43rd District Democrats at the group’s fall election endorsements meeting.
“We need a Democratic city council member which I am and have been a lifelong Democrat,” Banks said in her statement prior to the endorsement vote. “And I need your support. I need your endorsement to win this race.”
Her fellow party members were not convinced. 55% of the 89 votes cast went to the “no endorsement” option in the District 3 race dealing Banks a second blow to her campaign chances from the state congressional district representing Capitol Hill, the University District, and Wallingford.
— 43rd District Dems (@43rdDems) September 16, 2015
In May, Banks also failed to secure the group’s endorsement before the District 3 primary. Banks went through with her second place showing but incumbent City Council member Kshama Sawant claimed a commanding finish over her challengers.
Though, as a member of Socialist Alternative and not a Democrat, Sawant was unable to speak Tuesday night, the Banks challenger and was a strong presence in the vote. Sawant greeted 43rd District Democrat members as they arrived at the meeting while a campaign worker handed out a “no endorsement” flyer.
Colin Maloney, a 43rd District Precinct Committee Officer, spoke for the “no endorsement” position prior to the vote and said the decision was the group’s opportunity to address “dramatic wealth and income inequalities” in the country. One member in the audience interrupted Maloney’s two-minute speech. “You aren’t speaking for no endorsement. You’re speaking for a candidate,” the man shouted before Maloney was allowed to finish.
Alison Holcomb, the Capitol Hill resident who helped shepherd in Washington’s I-502 pot law and considered a run against Sawant before taking a job with the ACLU, took a swing at the proceeding via Twitter following the vote:
@jseattle So, Democrat PCO thinks Socialist will do better than Democrat in addressing wealth & income disparities. Why be a Dem PCO, then?
— Alison Holcomb (@acholcomb) September 16, 2015
At the meeting, Alison’s husband Gregg Holcomb asked that the District 3 endorsement be a voice vote but the motion was denied.
State Senator Jamie Pedersen was also on hand to try to give Banks a big “D” Democratic boost. Pedersen said his husband had given him a pep talk. “As I was leaving the house tonight, Eric, who rarely has opinions on anything political, said ‘You gotta tell those dang Democrats that they have to vote for the only Democrat in the race — otherwise, what’s the point!’”
Even with the new blow to the campaign, Banks continues to draw significant financial support though even her fundraising currently trails the incumbent Sawant in what has become the most monied district race in Seattle.
A poll of CHS readers prior to the primary showed that Sawant supporters were most interested in issues of housing affordability, the minimum wage, and civil rights in comparison to Banks supporters. Meanwhile, Banks supporters were more likely to more strongly value public safety, economic development, and neighborhoods. An examination of the primary results, meanwhile, showed that Sawant dominated Capitol Hill and the Central District, but she was clobbered by Banks in the more affluent precincts along Lake Washington.
UPDATE: You can chat with the candidates Wednesday afternoon at the Miller Park Community Council’s Neighborhood BBQ and Council/School Board Candidate event, 3 to 7 PM at the Miller Park Community Center.