Hundreds of thousands of ballots have yet to be counted in the November 2 general election, but candidates in some major races have popped up and taken pivotal positions, reflecting trends that are reflected at the national level.
Here are five quickly Conclusions from the results of Tuesday:
◼ A night of fear for the Seattle progressives. While they weren’t clearly defined, the more moderate, business-backed candidates in the city’s three most popular races have taken huge and probably overwhelming leads.
Bruce Harrell, the former city council president, blamed rival M. Laurena Gonzalez, the current city council president, for her past statements of support for a 50% cut in police funding and the abolition of exclusive zoning for one family. He led the pack by a whopping 30 percentage points – a gap that is unlikely to be closed in the coming days.
In the city’s most controversial city council race, anti-racism activist and lawyer Nikkita Oliver lagged well behind brewery owner Sarah Nelson, who once served as an assistant to Richard Conlin, a councilor defeated in 2013 by socialist Kshama Savant.
Meanwhile, Nicole Thomas Kennedy, who abolished the death penalty, who was supported by all legislative groups in the Democratic district, was badly lost to Republican Anne Davison.
Late voting in the city tends to the left. But not enough to overturn all three races – if any.
■ Good night to Seattle Republicans, and about King County … More than three decades have passed since the phrase “good night to Seattle Republicans” was written in relation to city elections.
But Davison, who ran for lieutenant governor as a Republican in 2020, has a 17-point lead in the nonpartisan race for the city attorney.
No Republican has won city elections in Seattle since Paul Kraabel, who served on the city council from 1975 to 1991.
But before local Republicans get too excited about the revival (Donald Trump won just 8% of the vote in Seattle in 2020), they should look east.
Katie Lambert, a longtime King County councilor, is likely to lose her seat, which she has held since 2001, in favor of Sarah Perry, the head of the nonprofit organization. The County Council seats are also non-partisan, but Lambert is Republican and Perry is Democrat.
This will move the County Council even further to the left, from a 6-3 Democratic majority to 7-2.
■ Become a Republican to get help from Democrats… Okay, it’s hard to stop thinking about the city attorney race.
Anne Davison ran for Seattle City Council in 2019 and complained after losing that Seattle Democrats are evil and that she could not get Democratic political consultants to help her challenge incumbent councilor Deborah Juarez.
So in 2020, she moved to the Republican Party and ran for lieutenant governor. She did not leave the primaries.
There’s a flash this year, and City Attorney Pete Holmes looked like he wouldn’t mind when both Davison and Thomas Kennedy filed a last-minute application. They beat Holmes in the primaries.
This made the democratic political establishment sweat. While local Democratic District organizations rallied around Thomas Kennedy, former governors. Christine Gregoire and Gary Locke broke the ranks and backed Davison.
And in her suddenly well-funded push towards the general election, Davison ended up getting the support she craved from some of the top local Democratic consultants, including Dean Nielsen, who advised her campaign, and Sandip Koshik, who helped launch the PAC, who sent hundreds of letters. thousands of materials in Seattle homes citing past controversial Thomas Kennedy tweets.
They may have helped Davison win an historic victory (if it persists). “Hell is frozen over,” Nielsen said in a text on Tuesday.
■ Timing is everything. If his leadership continues, Harrell will choose the most unusual path to become the 57th mayor of Seattle.
Harrell also served as mayor for one week in 2017, when Seattle had four mayors in the aftermath of sexual assault allegations that led to the fall of Mayor Ed Murray.
Following Murray’s resignation in September, Harrell became acting mayor for one week as council president. Harrell refused to serve the remainder of Murray’s term and returned to his position on the council. Councilor Tim Burgess became mayor for several months until Jenny Durcan won mayoral elections in 2017.
Harrell chose not to run for his seat on the council and appears to have ended politics. But then he threw his hat into the ring for the mayor. Although he has been on the council for three terms, during which problems such as homelessness have escalated, he has escaped being flagged for the past couple of years of chaos.
Given the electoral trend, he could have picked a really good time to leave and then come back.
■ Time for grammar. It would be difficult to imagine a less significant change, but King County voters seemed to be able to change the constituency’s founding document.
Hey, the US Constitution hasn’t changed since 1992, so it’s at least worth noting when a county changes its constitution (technically called a county charter).
Constituency voters favored two changes.
The first changes the stated purpose of the charter to include the formation of a more “just” government “for all” and the promotion of a “better quality of life”. It also introduces a grammatical change, replacing the word “insure” with “guarantee” in the sentence about county accountability for accountable governance. Both words are technically correct, but according to Merriam-Webster, “insurance” is more commonly used in financial matters and “guarantee” is more commonly used.
The second changes the deadlines and dates for submission of initiatives, referendums and voting measures so that the dates in the bylaws are in line with state law.