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Campaign says race is over as Sawant stretches District 3 total to 54% — UPDATE: Banks concedes

More images from Election Night 2015 here (Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

More images from Election Night 2015 here (Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 8.48.11 PMDistrict 3 apparently voted early. As ballot return totals slow in the Seattle City Council district representing Capitol Hill, the Central District, First Hill, and other Central Seattle neighborhoods east of I-5, Kshama Sawant’s reelection is all but assured.

Following Thursday night’s tally, the incumbent claimed 59% of the 3,406 ballots counted since our Wednesday update when Sawant also solidified her lead over challenger Pamela Banks. The continued strong returns for the Socialist Alternative candidate now put her total at 53.93% — let’s call it 54%.

Sawant campaign political director Philip Locker tells CHS the race is over. We haven’t heard from the Banks campaign as of Thursday night.

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 8.58.05 PMAt this point, turnout in D3 has hit 49.5% but the strong showing in the district slowed considerably in the third day of ballot updates. With its continued strong totals, District 6, where Mike O’Brien appears to have fought off an attempt by the Seattle Times editorial board to sink his kayaktivism, has nearly caught up with D3’s turnout. Meanwhile, it looks like District 1 representing West Seattle featured some serious get out the vote action — its totals surged on Thursday.

Given current turnout trends, Sawant needs to claim around 44% of the votes on any remaining District 3 ballots, a challenge the campaign seems likely to have met.

You can view all the King County results here.

UPDATE 9:30 PM: The campaign supporting Seattle’s Prop 1 transportation levy has declared victory:

With the later ballots trending even more strongly in favor of the Let’s Move Seattle, Proposition 1 transportation levy, the campaign to pass the measure today declared victory. After two vote counts on Wednesday and with the levy winning 63.56 percent of the vote in tonight’s count, overall support for the levy now stands at 57.5 percent and continues to grow.

“Seattle voters have spoken. Let’s Move Seattle has won resoundingly!” said Mayor Ed Murray, who led the effort to pass the measure.

UPDATE 11/6/2015 4:20 PM: Sawant has added another percentage point in Friday’s latest drop,, pushing her lead to 10. Perhaps her campaign can now say the race is even more over-er. Still no announcement from the Banks camp.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 4.16.29 PM

UPDATE 11/6/2015 8:15 PM: In a message posted to Facebook, Banks conceded Friday night. “I love this community and I would have been so proud to represent you in City Hall,” the candidate said while also slipping in a quotation from Muhammad Ali:

I want to thank all of the volunteers, supporters, and friends old and new who were the backbone of this campaign. There are so many moments that I will never forget – dancing at Pride, catfish at the CD Block Party, and sharing stories after Saturday door-knocking.

I got into this race because I believe that District 3 deserves a representative that answers to you and speaks on your behalf. I love this community and I would have been so proud to represent you in City Hall.

I called Councilmember Sawant to congratulate her on her re-election. Although this was a hard-fought campaign, we move on and continue to work on improving the lives of people in District 3 and across the city and region.

I will always fight for this community – for safe streets and police accountability, for small businesses and good jobs, for affordable housing and efficient transportation. My heart and my door will always be open to you.

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” -Muhammad Ali

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15 thoughts on “Campaign says race is over as Sawant stretches District 3 total to 54% — UPDATE: Banks concedes

  1. The Sawant campaign clearly, uh, banks on remaining returns going their way. Let’s hope they do. Good for her! Excellent choice, voters.

    • Yes, it is encouraging that the turnout is closer to 50%, but I still think that is deplorable….much less participation than in other democracies.

  2. The same talking points over and over on the same two or three agenda items that don’t relate to the business of representing district 3, the lack of accessibility, all the SEIU money that supports her, the rude followers who try to prevent the free speech of other opinions at public meetings. Good luck with that district 3.

    • ugh, my thoughts exactly.

      So much for district based elections providing neighborhood accountability… we ended up with the exact opposite.

      Sawant, with here extremely limited platform of issues that face the entire city, should have run for a city-wide seat. I’d have no problem with that. Instead she cherry-picked a district, moved in, and robbed us of proper representation of all our neighborhoods on the council… well, unless you happen to fall into one of her limited pet issues.

      I really can not believe that so many people have flocked to the cult of Sawant and her limited, divisive rhetoric. She is really no better than some tea-party hardliner; just the opposite side of the coin.

      • “Instead she cherry-picked a district, moved in, and robbed us of proper representation of all our neighborhoods on the council.”

        Hmm…can’t say I ever heard a democratic election being compared to robbery, but I guess when the grapes are sour, everything seems like armed robbery.

        Your person didn’t win. Get over it. If you’re so inclined, start working to get her voted out the next election. Or would that qualify as “robbery” as well?

    • Left to her own devices, it’s clear what Sawant will focus on. But why leave it up to her? If she’s not focusing on what’s important to District 3, it’s up to US to make her do so– not just sit back and complain about her. She doesn’t just get to do as she pleases now because she won.

      • Jim, do you really think there is a chance Sawant will be responsive to her constituents in D3? Her track record would indicate otherwise. I think her arrogance and self-righteousness will keep her from listening seriously to citizen’s concerns, unless they are about her pet issues. You are more optimistic than I am.

    • Well, you had two lousy candidates. NEITHER of them is good for the Council.

      I’m just glad Banks can’t represent my district either.

  3. Now, if both candidates, especially Sawant, would follow the law and have her minions march out and remove the signs and posters littering the poles and traffic circles it would be a step forward…I won’t hold my breath.

    • I doubt very much that will happen. A better bet is for everyone to remove a few posters/signs as they go about their daily business. But some of them are too high to reach…..above the 7′ level, which is the maximum height according to SDOT regulations. I emailed Sawant about this, but of course she did not respond. It seems especially egregious that a sitting City Council member thinks she has the right to ignore a city regulation.

      • I agree with others here on a few important points. The first is the campaign posters that are littering the CD (and I’m sure all of Capitol Hill). In the CD, Sawant supporters used packing tape to attach the signs to the poles, wrapping it around the pole many times. This is not environmentally friendly, and it looks terrible. I will be removing posters on my block when I am out picking up litter, but I will be calling Sawant’s office to ask that she send out her volunteers to remove those that I see when I am walking to work.

        This leads to the next issue. Like Jim98122 said, we need to contact Sawnat about the issues that are important to us, and we need to keep calling and writing when we don’t get the response we like.

        Lastly, Sawant is the left-wing equivalent of the Tea Party. I have frequently wondered how those creepy right-wing extremists get elected to Congress. Now I know. We have an example of it right here on the local level in Seattle.

  4. Love that even with so many commenters decrying the low turnout and lack of voter enthusiasm city and nationwide, I e of the only candidates that does energize a base and drive decent turnout in her district is dismissed as building a “cult” of support.

    It’s fine to admit that you really only care about turnout if voters are turning out for a candidate you like. It just seems a bit disengenuous to call for more general enthusiasm while mostly denigrating one of the most enthusiastic group of supporters in these council elections by comparing them to a group of religious extremists.