(Image: Alex Garland for CHS)
With reporting by Margo Vansynghel, Jake Goldstein-Street, and Alex Garland
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The first count in the race for the District 3 was anything but definitive but challenger Egan Orion
opened up Election Night 2019 with an eight-point lead over incumbent Kshama Sawant
At Orion’s party held at Pike/Pine’s Sole Repair, the early crowd included his family, supporters, and Uncle Ike’s owner Ian Eisenberg.
“Thousands of voters have talked to me at the doors and they know who I am,” Orion told CHS Tuesday night.
“I know Kshama would like this to be a contest between her and Amazon, but at the end of the day, she’s got me. And I’ve got a really long record of engaging with the community and really getting things done,” he said as someone handed him a BETO for President hat.
“What went well in the campaign? Well, number one that I wasn’t Kshama Sawant,” Orion said earlier in the night before the first count. Orion said he felt only a “9 or 10 point” lead would be really comfortable, given later batches will favor Sawant. 7 or 8 percentage points? That could be OK. But “5 or 6 is like hah,” Orion said, making a distressed sound.
“[Voters] want to see someone that’s accomplished, that’s not too far afield from Kshama and her values and so I think the voters see me as someone that can take those values and get things done,” he said.
Meanwhile, hundreds gathered for the first ballot results with the Sawant campaign in the Central District at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute — the scene of Sawant’s Primary Election Night triumph this summer. When the Election Night results hit, the music stopped and then restarted and subdued conversations began. “Within range, within range,” one Sawant fan reassured another supporter.