How we voted: Precinct maps show Murray’s inroads into McGinn’s Capitol Hill

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 11.07.40 PMThe Republican Street north-south divide in Capitol Hill was just as apparent as it was during the August primary, according to the final certification of the November 5th election. Voter’s on the north side leaned more “conservative” as the Pike/Pine core remained a solid block in the “progressive” direction.

But while outgoing Mayor Mike McGinn maintained strong support in Capitol Hill, Ed Murray was able to dip below the Republican Street demarcation to pick up additional votes in his home neighborhood. Murray was also able to chip away at some precincts in the central part of the neighborhood that McGinn ultimately won with less support than he enjoyed in the primary. You can see the struggle the played out on Capitol Hill just by looking at the colored map compared to other neighborhoods.

“Murray made big inroads with the young voters in urban core neighborhoods. On Capitol Hill, (Richard) Conlin received only 29% of votes, but Murray managed a respectable 41%,” wrote political analyst Ben Anderstone of Anderstone Strategies. Continue reading

Three throw hat in ring to represent 43rd in Olympia in district shuffle

The 43rd District -- click for larger image

The 43rd District — click for larger image

Earlier this month, CHS reported that there was more than one winner in the Seattle race for mayor. With Ed Murray’s victory, the 43rd District’s House rep Jamie Pedersen appears lined up for a promotion to the Senate. The ripple effect will also likely mean the 43rd Dems will be picking a new representative. Below is a mail sent out Wednesday morning by the group to members profiling the potential candidates.

King County Democrats chair Karl de Jong has called a special caucus for the senate appointment. During this caucus, Precinct Committee Officers will also be voting on three nominees for the potential house vacancy. Details on the December 3rd meeting are here.

Pedersen’s statement as well as statements for the three potential candidates to replace him are below. Continue reading

Don’t call it a comeback: Sawant wins council race as Conlin concedes


Sawant on Election Night (Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

Ten days after a seemingly decisive election day win, incumbent council member Richard Conlin has conceded to socialist challenger Kshama Sawant. Conlin made the announcement at a 5 PM press conference on Friday after ballot numbers released an hour earlier put Sawant in 1-point lead.

Sawant’s improbable win marks the first time a socialist will take a seat on the Seattle city council in at least 100 years (maybe ever); she’ll also be the first Indian American and software engineer-turned-economist to take the post.

On election night Conlin was more than 7 points ahead of Sawant, with a 6,000 vote lead, but Sawant refused to concede the race. As ballots continued to be counted in the days after November 5th, Sawant steadily gained on Conlin. She narrowly surpassed him on Tuesday with 41 votes. By Thursday, Sawant had widened her lead to 1,148 votes, putting the election outside the margin that would trigger an automatic recount.

Sawant, a member of the Socialist Alternative party, championed pro-worker and anti-corporate causes during the campaign, including a $15/hr minimum wage, rent control, and a “millionaires’ tax.” She pummeled Conlin during several barbed debates, often referring to him as a defender of corporate and developer interests. Conlin has said this would be his last run for office.

Sawant is an economics professor at Seattle Central Community College and was an active member of Occupy Seattle. Depending on how her term goes Sawant could be a frontrunner for Seattle’s new Council District 3.


Sawant-Conlin race nears moves through recount territory

Following election day Sawant has posted increasing gains on ballot counts (Image: CHS)

Following election day Sawant has posted increasing gains on ballot counts (Image: CHS)

The resurgence of Kshama Sawant in her race with Richard Conlin for the incumbent’s City Council seat continues.

UPDATE 4:40 PM (11/14): Sawant continued her slow but steady accumulation of votes over Conlin on Thursday, surpassing him by 1,148 votes. Thursday’s ballot release also put the race out of automatic recount territory. The two candidates are now separated by .67% — an automatic recount is triggered if the race is within a .5% difference.

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Returns as of 4:30 PM on November 14. (Image: King County Elections)

UPDATE Wednesday, November 13th, 4:45 PM: Sawant’s surge continued with Wednesday’s only scheduled vote count update. The challenger has now opened a 402-vote lead over her rival.

UPDATE Tuesday, November 12th, 4:40 PM: Following the release of Tuesday’s batch of ballots, Sawant has pulled ahead of Conlin by 41 votes. If Sawant continues to post similar leads over Conlin in the next couple days she will not only have caught the incumbent from behind — she’ll have won outright, no recount required. If these current percentages hold, however, an automatic recount would be triggered.

“We’re very hopeful we’re going to make history,” said Sawant campaign manager Ramy Khalil, who attributed the late ballot surge to October campaign  endorsements.

On election night Conlin was more than 7 points ahead of Sawant, with a 6,000 vote lead. Sawant refused to concede the race — good thing since Sawant has continued to narrow in on the incumbent. As of Friday Sawant was only trailing Conlin by 1,237 votes, narrowing the race to under 1%. If elected, Sawant would be the first socialist candidate ever elected to the city council. Her pro-worker, pro-middle class and anti-poverty messages have apparently resonated with voters — at least in this race. CHS has reported on her efforts to champion a $15 minimum wage and rent control in the city.

The campaigns got word last week that some 5,600 ballots had been declared invalid, likely due to issues with ballot signatures. Over the weekend both campaigns launched efforts to reach out to voters whose ballots had been kicked backed. Continue reading

Who will lead the (hopefully) United Neighborhoods of District 3?

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 9.17.04 PMLike it or not, district-based city council seats will be here in 2015. As of Thursday’s last count, nearly 65% of Seattle voters approved Charter Amendment 19 to drastically re-calibrate the city’s top elected body. Under the new arrangement the city will have seven district-based council seats and two at large representatives, with Capitol Hill dominating Seattle District 3.

District-based council seats represent a historic shift in the political dynamics of the city and will likely cast a microscope over neighborhood politics. Madison Park moms, Seattle Central Community College students, and Central District old-timers will now all be jostling to elect and influence one single council member in the Fighting Third.

A lot of political rising and falling can happen in two years, so District 3 candidate predictions may be premature. Who would run if the elections were held today? Wyking GarrettSandy Cioffi? Bobby Forch? Dominic HoldenJason Lajeunesse? Toss out your best guesses/nominations in comments.

Kshama Sawant, your first District 3 Council alderperson? (Image: CHS)

Kshama Sawant, your first District 3 Council alderperson? (Image: CHS)

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Pedersen likely successor to Murray’s Senate seat in 43rd District shuffle

Pedersen, left, was also a winner Tuesday night (Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

Pedersen, left, was also a winner Tuesday night (Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

The race to lead Seattle is over and the political show must go on. As Ed Murray prepares to become Seattle’s 53rd mayor, he will leave behind his 43rd District Senate seat and minority leader post. The most likely contender to win the appointment to fill Murray’s soon-to-be empty seat is Capitol Hill’s own 43rd District Rep. Jamie Pedersen.

Pedersen, an attorney who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, tells CHS that he decided to seek the Senate seat in June even though he would enter as a junior member in the minority party. Murray’s majority leader position will be filled by a sitting senator.

“It’s not really an obvious choice for me personally. I’m chair of a committee that I like a lot and a relatively senior member of the House,” Pedersen said.

Despite the drawbacks, Pedersen said there are big issues in the Senate he wanted to tackle. “We need more revenue to invest in our education system and the Senate is the biggest obstacle to that,” he said, adding that past frustrations with the Republican majority body were partially behind his desire to take Murray’s seat. “I have some experience of getting things stopped in the Senate.” Continue reading

Election 2013 | Seattle Mayor and City Council results — Murray comes up big

With Bryan Cohen reportingIMG_8412

IMG_8312It appears that Ed Murray will be Seattle’s first openly… Capitol Hill mayor. With the Hill serving as the city’s election night headquarters (above, images from the Sawant, McGinn and Murray campaign parties all within a five minute walk of each other), the first ballot count in the 2013 races for mayor and City Council seats were released just after 8:15 PM showing challenger Murray with a sizable early lead over incumbent Mike McGinn. Tuesday’s count included more than 90,000 ballots. There are more than 410,000 registered voters in the city.

Murray took the stage just before 9 PM as his campaign celebrated election night at 10th and Pike’s Neumos, saying that only a few short years ago it would have been unimaginable for him to stand next to his husband as mayor.

Murray’s supporters erupted in deafening screams and applause when the initial results were first displayed, all but ensuring Murray’s victory. The high energy atmosphere carried on for the better part of an hour. Murray was clearly enjoying his victory, but stuck to the script in his speech, careful not to get caught up in the moment. He talked about civic duty and the positive role government can play in people’s lives.

Earlier in the night, McGinn’s not-yet-a-concession speech took a nostalgic turn. “I’m proud of what we did,” he said to his supporters at 95 Slide. “You guys all know — I’m from the Sierra Club. And one of the rules is you have to leave a place better than when you’ve found it. And we’ve done that.”

UPDATE Thursday, November 7 10:45 AM: In a morning press conference, Mayor Mike McGinn announced his concession to Murray in the race for City Hall — and began the work of cementing is legacy of setting a new course for Seattle leadership based on transit and progressive values. “If you look at Mr. Murray’s agenda, that’s the agenda I ran on four years ago,” McGinn said.

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Election 2013 | You have until 5:30 PM to get to the Broadway post office

IMG_2987Tuesday’s deadline to have your ballot postmarked and picked up at the Broadway United State Post Office is 5:30 PM. You’ll need your own stamp. Get on it. The candidates and their campaigns got an early start on things with sign waving and last-minute media appeals Tuesday. CHS stopped by the Denny I-5 overpass to find Ed Murray supporters — including Murray’s Michael Shiosaki — waving to drivers and passersby on the campaign’s home turf. Meanwhile, there’s been a pole flyering effort on the Hill in support of Mike McGinn.

IMG_9228Murray and Shiosaki call the neighborhood home. So does Murray’s campaign headquarters. Speaking of the E Pike campaign office, any fans of the The Wire might find the current scene in front of the building amusing. The story’s mayoral challenger Tommy Carcetti dealt with incumbent shenanigans like a noisy construction project in front of his HQ in the Home Rooms episode. In the real world, workers on E Pike said the sidewalk repair project has been underway for weeks. We’re certain incumbent McGinn would never engage in such tactics. Besides, Carcetti won.

  • If you’re voting last minute, you can also make a trip to the King County Administration building at 500 4th to drop off your ballot through 8 PM. Other drop-off locations here.
  • There are Election Night parties all over the Hill including the bashes for McGinn and Murray within a few blocks of each other on E Pike. Tuesday’s initial vote count is expected around 8:15 PM.
  • You can find all CHS Election 2013 coverage here.

Election 2013 | Mayoral candidates bring election night parties to Capitol Hill — UPDATE: More parties

Hill revelers pop the cork on Election Night 2012 (Image: CHS)

Hill revelers pop the cork on Election Night 2012 (Image: CHS)

Capitol Hill clearly knows — 20122008 — how to do election night. Tuesday, incumbent Mike McGinn and challenger Ed Murray will be only a few blocks away from each other on E Pike as the mayoral candidates watch the first returns come in just after 8:15 PM. Meanwhile, Socialist candidate Kshama Sawant, who has made a surprisingly effective run for the Seattle City Council seat of longtimer Richard Conlin, is also planning a Capitol Hill party. Details on the free and open-to-the-public events are below.

Capitol Hill Election Night 2013 Parties

  • Mike McGinn at 95 SlideInfo
    722 E Pike, 6 PM — “Come join us at 95 Slide on Election night to watch the results come in!”
  • Ed Murray at Neumos Info
    925 E Pike, 7 PM — “State Sen. Ed Murray has represented Seattle’s 43rd Legislative District in the legislature since 1995 and currently serves as the Senate Majority Leader.”
  • Kshama Sawant at Melrose Studios Info
    1532 Minor Ave. below the Melrose Market, 6 PM — “After a months-long campaign that has seen nationally unprecedented success for an openly socialist candidate, supporters, volunteers, and staff will gather election night to see whether that success culminates in a victory for Kshama Sawant.”
  • Courtney Gregoire at Sole RepairInfo
    1001 E Pike, 7 PM 1385361_605047636220416_571844578_n
  • Dow Constantine at Lost LakeInfo
    1505 10th Ave, 6 PM — “Lost Lake is hosting King County Executive Dow Constantine’s at 7pm, and we’ll have all the election coverage on our TV’s. “

More CHS Election 2013 coverage

CHS November 2013 election reader endorsement thread

Murray and McGinn faced off in October's Capitol Hill mayoral candidate forum

Murray and McGinn faced off in October’s Capitol Hill mayoral candidate forum

Let’s get partisan. CHS has covered the major races and issues from a Capitol Hill point of view — but there is plenty left to say. With ballots arriving in mailboxes, it’s time to make your mark. Make your pitch in the comments for candidates, initiatives and propositions or provide links to any useful endorsements you believe should be top of mind when your neighbors are filling in their bubbles. Continue reading