Orion will have work cut out as Sawant shows her usual ‘late voter’ strength in District 3

Orion showing off his political muscle on Election Night

Challenger Egan Orion was feeling strong on Election Night but the ongoing updates of totals for the District 3 primary show that he will need every bit of his political muscle to catch — and keep up — with incumbent Kshama Sawant and her Socialist Alternative-powered “get out the vote” final kick.

Final tallies won’t be certified until next week, but with updates slowing to a trickle, it seems safe to say Sawant will finish above 36% of the vote. That means the incumbent City Council member has stretched her lead by nearly 4 points thanks to yet another strong performance with late voters. In tallies since Election Night, Sawant has claimed more than 40% of the vote. Continue reading

District 3’s Primary Election Night parties, from 12th Ave to Madrona

The qualifying round in Seattle’s most expensive and hotly contested City Council race is finally nearing the finish line and District 3’s candidates are ready to celebrate — or commiserate — with you. Here’s a look at the Election Night events planned by D3 candidates around the district. Come out and join CHS and your neighbors for a night of democratic good times — and the first ballot drop around 8 PM. Still need to vote? You have until 8 PM to either find your nearest ballot box or have your ballot post marked.

District 3 Primary Election Night Parties

  • Sawant (incumbent): Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute — 104 17th Ave S — 6 to 10 PM. Info
  • Bowers: Chuck’s — 2001 E Union — 7 to 10 PM. Info
  • DeWolf: Marjorie: 1412 E Union — 7 to 9 PM. Info
  • Murakami: Madrona Arms — 1138 34th Ave
  • Nguyen: Seattle Fish Guys —  411 -23rd Ave S — 7 to 9 PM — Info
  • Orion: Rachel’s Ginger Beer — 1610 12th Ave — 7 to 9 PM — Info

Still need to vote? If you are the kind of voter who chooses your candidate based on party location, here you go. If not, check out CHS’s Election 2019 coverage, below. Continue reading

What candidates have to say about safe streets and transportation investments around District 3

(Image: SDOT

If Monday morning’s CHS post on collisions around Capitol Hill, the Central District, and First Hill and the city’s difficulty in making headway on Vision Zero goals got you worked up about street safety — and you still haven’t cast your August Primary ballot which is due Tuesday, August 6th by 8 PM! — here’s a quick look at the District 3 candidates’ answers about safe streets and car dependence from our CHS Reader D3 Candidate Survey.

We asked each candidate for an overview of their plan to support safe streets and also which areas of D3 transportation infrastructure they feel is most in need of investment. You can also check out the full candidate survey answers on a variety of Central Seattle-focused topics.

Meanwhile, readers who responded to our CHS D3 Primary Poll who indicated they considered “transportation” as a “very important” factor in choosing their candidate, were mostly likely to have said they were supporting Sawant or Orion — also the top vote getters among the full group of respondents. What candidate gains the most support when focusing just on Transportation? That would be Bowers who ranks third after Sawant and Orion among the “very important” transportation respondents. The small percentage of voters who considered transportation to be less than “important” in their decision? They also support Orion and his competitor Murakami.

More survey results here. Answers from the candidates on transit and transportation issues, below.

What is your plan to support safe streets and continue to reduce car dependence in our district? Continue reading

Still undecided? Here’s a reason to vote — or not — for each District 3 candidate

Organizations have made their endorsements, big cash has been doled out to some candidates, and oodles of Democracy Vouchers have been collected, all culminating in the voters finally having their official say, and moving two candidates forward to the November General Election.

With ballots for the August 6 top-two primary election mailed out to Seattleites and drop boxes open, here’s a look at each of the District 3 candidate’s biggest strengths and weaknesses to help if you’re still undecided in the race.


Council member Kshama Sawant

Biggest strength: Name recognition/passionate support

As voters get their ballots in D3, chances are the name that will jump out to many voters is Sawant’s given her position not only as a current councilmember, but as one of the most notable politicians in Seattle. This is partly due to the fact that she is the only socialist on the council, which, in turn, has allowed her to earn both thousands of dollars and many eager supporters. As CHS reported Wednesday, Sawant’s campaign boasts the biggest team of staffers and volunteers, which has surely helped with doorbelling across the district. And as endorsement meetings have shown in multiple legislative districts, her supporters can organize well on her behalf to block other candidates. Continue reading

Who deserves your vote — and who is actually going through to November? Take the CHS District 3 Primary Poll

The ballots have been mailed. You’ve read the candidate answers to the CHS District 3 Primary questionnaire. You’ve pored through CHS’s ongoing Election 2019 coverage. Clearly, it is time for an online poll.

Let us know your thoughts on the D3 race and which candidate you are backing. Yes, “other” is a choice for any of you undecideds. We’ll leave the poll open through Election Day, August 6th but will be poking our head in to check out the results here and there over the coming weeks.

Create your own user feedback survey
View latest results / You can also take the survey here


‘Terrorist’ dog, one candidate comes out as fiction writer, and ‘Seattle is not dying, but compassionate’ — The results of the CHS Reader D3 Candidate Survey are in

“All Candidate (Candidate word clouds created with wordclouds.com)

We asked, you answered. Our call for questions for the CHS District 3 Primary Candidate Survey, that is. From dozens of reader proposals, CHS distilled 20 questions, including “Favorite D3 Park,” Which D3 areas “are most in need of new transit and transportation infrastructure?” and “What solutions for homelessness have worked in other cities that you’d like to try here?”

UPDATE 9:18 AM: Due to an error on CHS handling of questionnaire answers, we inadvertently missed candidate answers to a handful of questions. This post has been updated and a description of unanswered questions has been removed. We apologize for the error.

Egan Orion, whose campaign has benefitted from financial expenditures by the CASE PAC, answered a question about how to avoid another very expensive D3 race by 2023: “I think the best way to prevent another expensive, combative election is to elect a council member that lives up to their promises and meets the needs of their constituents.” As you might expect, most candidates took aim at Kshama Sawant and/or PACs in their answers.

Before we get to the other answers, here are a couple of quick stats and observations

  • The longest answers came from incumbent Sawant, who leads with just over 4,300 words — 18 of those were either “big” or “business”, a lot more were “most regressive tax system in the country”— while Zachary DeWolf and Ami Nguyen kept it most concise with around 1,700.
  • Logan Bowers kept the mentions of his solo wheel(ing) at “only” twice. Nguyen referred to her job as public defender two times.
  • Orion used the term “data-proven” or “data-informed” “solutions” three times, one time before claiming the data is “far from clear” on safe injection sites. Orion was quoted saying “I’m all for safe consumption sites,” in Madison Park Times last April.
  • Only one candidate used a smiley: Zachary DeWolf, writing he was “rated last place by SOS ;).”
  • Pat Murakami leads with the most mention of dogs, including one time to refer to medical marijuana for her dog Yoshi and her late Jack Russell “Terrorist.” Continue reading

With ballots about to head out, District 3 race’s final Primary warm-up laps are all about the money

In the last week before ballots go out, the District 3 race to be fhe top two candidates to go through the Primary and onto the General Election in November appears to be all about the money. One D3 candidate recently got a big boost as the business-friendly Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce doled out its first chunk of cash to its endorsed candidates.

As part of a $307,000 dump, Egan Orion, the Broadway Business Improvement Area administrator who has said he wouldn’t accept campaign contributions from business political action committees (PACs), had $86,750 spent to benefit him by the Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy, the PAC run by the chamber, for a canvassing, telephone, and texting program; $12,450 for direct mail; and, $8,200 for campaign literature, according to late June filings with the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC).

These three sums add up to $107,400 in independent expenditures — first reported by journalist Erica C. Barnett — to aid the flagging Orion campaign, which is getting more money than any other in any city council district, so far.

“It’s no surprise that corporate PACs have already spent more on District 3 than on any other in the city,” Council member Kshama Sawant said in an email. “This year, corporate PACs have made it clear that their top priority this election cycle is ‘anybody but Kshama Sawant’ for District 3.”

This money could serve as a much-needed stimulus for a candidate who has struggled to receive endorsements, sometimes finishing last in voting in local Democratic Party endorsement contests, despite strong ties fostered as head of the now-shuttered Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and as executive director of what Orion is quick to call the biggest single festival day in Seattle, Pridefest.

“I think CASE’s endorsement helps to shape the race,” Orion said in a text message, adding of Sawant: “she’s been demonizing the Metropolitan Chamber for years now and specifically in this election so the fact that I have their support may help the electorate see some strong delineation between my candidacy and that of Kshama Sawant.” Continue reading

Speak Out Seattle’s pick in District 3: neighborhood activist Murakami — UPDATE

CHS hasn’t reported a lot of good things about District 3 candidate Pat Murakami, the Beacon Hill small business owner and slow growth-style neighborhood activist. She got tied up in a weird North Capitol Hill neighborhood Valpak campaign and some of the things she has said during the campaign so far have been disappointing and sometimes a little bizarre — in May, Murakami told the crowd at a candidates transportation forum held in the Central District that she had to drive to the event because of concerns for her “personal safety” and this spring called for a used cruise ship to be commissioned to house the city’s unsheltered population.

But depending on how you feel about crime, safety, homelessness, and “street disorder” in Seattle, you might take note that Murakami received the highest rating among D3 candidates from the pro-policing, anti-crime, slow-growth group, Speak Out Seattle:

First Place: Pat Murakami is a small business owner (tech) and longtime community advocate for public safety. She has been president of the South Seattle Crime Prevention Council for many years. Murakami is fully aligned with SOS’ positions on crime, homelessness and addiction/mental illness solutions. She is data-oriented and will be a strong advocate for improved public safety across the city.

Continue reading

CHS Reader District 3 Candidate Survey — Call for questions

Follow the money. More of it has already flowed into the race for the District 3 seat on the City Council representing Capitol Hill, the Central District, and the nearby than any other in Seattle. The issues at hand — affordability, homelessness, worker rights, civil rights, transportation, and more — have been taking shape for each of the five challengers and incumbent in the race. You can find all of CHS’s Election 2019 coverage here.

In 2015, the last time the seat was up for grabs, CHS experimented with a new way of drilling in on important questions in the district– the CHS Reader D3 Candidate Survey. The 2015 results are posted here. In 2019, it’s time to ask new questions.

Here’s the plan: Continue reading