Anne Davison, a Republican who pledged to restore law and order to the streets of Seattle by intensifying petty crime prosecutions and clearing homeless camps, defeated progressive candidate Nicole Thomas Kennedy to become the city’s first female city attorney.
The Seattle Times announces a Davison race following an updated vote count on Friday.
The updated tally, published by King County Elections, shows Davison topping 53% of the vote against Thomas Kennedy’s 47% with 238,299 votes cast. According to an analysis by The Seattle Times, Thomas Kennedy will need 87% of an estimated 17,000 unpaid votes – almost 15,000 in total – to catch up.
Davison, 53, an arbitrator with limited litigation experience, declared herself a Republican last year while President Donald Trump was still in power, and has pledged to support law enforcement and renew the office’s efforts to prosecute petty crimes for which the outgoing administration the post of city attorney Pete Holmes has stepped down. This is her third consecutive point in the position.
The city’s prosecutor’s office is officially non-partisan. Since 1875, no woman has ever held this position.
No race in last Tuesday’s city elections was more fraught with potential unpredictable consequences than the race for Seattle’s official lawyer, who has traditionally prosecuted petty crimes and provided legal advice and protection to the city and its employees, including the police.
Thomas Kennedy, 46, a progressive and former public defender, wanted to end up criminalizing petty misdemeanors and ridiculed police as “thugs” and worse in a series of social media posts during protests following the assassination of George Floyd in May 2020. officer in Minneapolis. During riots that engulfed Seattle and other cities this summer, Thomas Kennedy tweeted her “rabid hatred of the police” and declared property destruction during the protests a “moral imperative.”
While she garnered the support of traditionally Democratic-oriented institutions such as labor unions, as well as lawyers and civil rights lawyers, she also drew the ire of three former city police chiefs – Carmen Best, Kathleen O’Toole and Gil Kerlikowske, who, in an essay published in The Seattle Times, warned that her election could lead to possible “anarchy” and a sharp drop in officers’ morale.
Her unpopularity with many mainstream Democrats was highlighted by the fact that Davison received the backing of two former Democratic governors, Christine Gregoire and Gary Locke, as well as the backing of former Republican governor Dan Evans.