As Seattle looks to rein in PAC cash, here’s how District 3 money stacks up

And then there were two.

With only Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant and Broadway Business Improvement Area head Egan Orion remaining after the city’s most expensive Primary battle, the race for District 3 money ramps up — even as another city council member is ready to introduce legislation to try to slow the escalating cost of getting elected in Seattle.

Orion was boosted by more than $156,000 in independent expenditures from the pro-business Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy during the primary, the biggest outside spending in the city. Amazon has contributed $250,000 to CASE and Vulcan has given $155,000, according to filings with the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC). Some say this money lifted him over the line over other qualified candidates, including Seattle Public Schools Board member Zachary DeWolf.

“I think that Egan has the business community to thank for him getting through, absolutely,” a veteran Seattle political consultant said, adding that “the outside groups were able to move the needles where they needed to go roughly to boost Egan where his direct campaign couldn’t do it.”

At the same time, citywide Council member Lorena González has recently drafted legislation that would limit how much contributors could give to PACs and place more stringent regulations on foreign money in Seattle politics. Continue reading

Orion’s D3 drag wins ‘best dressed’ but faces rough crowd at City Council candidate talent show

Egan Orion as Shegan (Image: @gramsofgnats)

Ten of the 14 remaining Seattle City Council candidates — including one District 3 candidate done up in drag for the night — faced some of their most progressive constituents in a fun but heated at times pageant Wednesday night.

District 3 incumbent Kshama Sawant, Scott’s competitor in D4 Alex Pedersen, as well as both of North Seattle’s District 5 competitors, council member Debora Juarez and Ann Davidson Slatter, did not participate.

Don’t get your hopes up that the socialist D3 incumbent was rejecting the evening’s frat talent show theatrics or stepping away from the alternative biweekly that endorsed her in the primary. Sawant’s campaign tells CHS the candidate was unable to attend due to “a personal scheduling conflict.”

On stage at NeumosDistrict 4’s Shaun Scott “won” the contest, narrowly eking out District 2’s Tammy Morales, who was voted the most spirited contestant, to win the pageant hosted by The Washington Bus and The Stranger at the Capitol Hill music venue.

The event, comprised of a mostly cringe-worthy talent portion, and policy questions, often turned hostile with heckling of less left-leaning candidates. Continue reading

So, which District 3 neighborhoods voted for the Speak out Seattle candidate?

With reporting by Margo Vansynghel

If the advocates of pro-policing and anti-street disorder efforts in Seattle like Speak out Seattle, Safe Seattle, and People for Seattle really are sweeping in a wave of change in the city, this is what it looks like in District 3.

CHS started the week showing you Election Night heat maps for the top two candidates moving through to November’s General Election in D3.

Here is the Election Night map for the person who cam in third and will not advance — Pat Murakami.

Supported by an endorsement from Speak Out Seattle, a pro-policing and public safety group which has opposed the head tax and safe-consumption sites, Murakami outpaced many expectations and should finish with around 13% of the vote but falling well short of Egan Orion and Kshama SawantContinue reading

Where do Sawant and Orion voters live? D3 neighborhood Election Night voting mapped

With the dust of the primary election settling and ballot counts slowing to a trickle, Seattle City Council candidates who made it to the General Election in November are now gearing up for the second round of campaigning. Expect for things to swing back into action with a wave of forums starting next month including the GSBA’s event at the Broadway Performance Hall on September 10th.

Meanwhile, in mapping out their strategy, precinct-level voting data from King County Elections might help candidates figure out in which areas they could garner some more support — or which ones might be lost territory.

For the full picture, candidates including D3 City Council incumbent Kshama Sawant and General Election-bound challenger Egan Orion will have to wait a couple more days. Primary results will be certified August 20th. Precinct-level voting data will be released in the days following.

The precinct-level results CHS has mapped date from the night of the election represents 60% of ballots counted. Continue reading

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

Early results show Sawant-Orion battle for D3

Orion celebrated with supporters Tuesday night at Rachel’s Ginger Beer on Capitol Hill (Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

Sawant, meanwhile, addressed a large crowd of supporters at Langston Hughes in the Central District (Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

With reporting by Margo Vansynghel and Alex Garland

With some $716,000 in campaign contributions, another $250,000 in Democracy Vouchers, and tens of thousands more from special interest “political action committee” spending injected, the District 3 race to November is shaping up as a battle over Amazon — and bologna sandwiches.

District 3 incumbent Kshama Sawant and challenger Egan Orion emerged with substantial, likely insurmountable leads in the first drop of ballots Tuesday night. 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

A few final barbs — and a few laughs — in last-push District 3 Primary candidates forum

(Image: Mount Baker Community Club)

Four of the six District 3 candidates offered one of the funniest and, at times, consensus-filled forums of the lengthy primary season on Friday night at the Mount Baker Community Club, representing a neighborhood area that straddles D3’s south and D2.

Incumbent Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant dropped out of the event at the last minute due to illness and Seattle Public Schools Board member Zachary DeWolf could not take part due to a prior engagement.

The event provided the four remaining candidates with a large audience — one of the biggest of the forum season — to make their case before the top-two August 6 primary. While the election is just days away, many voters have yet to return the ballots. As of Friday afternoon, 13,187 ballots have been returned out of nearly 73,000 registered voters. In the 2015 Seattle City Council Primary, District 3 hit 36% turnout.

Meanwhile, early returns illustrate ongoing trends: older voters are much more likely to actually vote:

The candidates were quick to call out what they see as dysfunction on the current council, specifically criticizing Sawant at various times throughout the forum.

“They are not doing, and Kshama Sawant, our incumbent, especially, basic management duties of their job,” pot entrepreneur Logan Bowers said in his opening statement. Both Broadway Business Improvement Area head Egan Orion and neighborhood activist Pat Murakami directly disparaged the incumbent in their first remarks, as well.  Continue reading