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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 7, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 31
Election wrap up: Seattle City Council District 3 leads turnout, Sawant leads opponents
Godden out, other incumbents go on to general election
Section One
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Election wrap up: Seattle City Council District 3 leads turnout, Sawant leads opponents
Godden out, other incumbents go on to general election

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Seattle's City Council District 3 led in voter turnout, and its incumbent City Council member Kshama Sawant racked up a wide lead over her opponents in the August 4 primary election.

Other incumbents seem to be on track to go on to the general election in November, except for veteran City Council member Jean Godden, who is headed for forced retirement unless late ballots reverse the trend in the city's District 4.

The Seattle City Council may get an openly Gay member to replace Tom Rasmussen and Sally Clark, who did not run for re-election. Stonewall Democrats activist Michael Maddux is running second in the race to replace Godden and will probably make it to the November ballot. Former ERW executive director Rod Hearne is going down to defeat in District 3, however.

Openly Gay union lobbyist Herb Krohn also failed to get into the general election in his race for the Port Commission.

The election will not be certified until August 18, and ballots are still being counted, but in many races the margins are already too big for late ballots to change the results.

City Council District 3
The race that captured the whole city's imagination was the hotly contested one in Seattle City Council District 3, pitting incumbent Kshama Sawant against four rivals. The much-watched race drew the city's largest turnout, with almost 27% of registered voters sending in their ballots.

Sawant now leads by a wide margin, with more than 50% of the votes in her column. She will face off against Urban League president Pamela Banks in November. Banks came in with just under 35%.

Their campaign strategies could not be more different.

Sawant has made affordable housing the cornerstone of her campaign, just as the minimum wage was in 2013. Banks made Sawant the central issue, charging that she was too radical.

Sawant deployed hundreds of volunteers to the neighborhoods in her district, their signature red shirts reminiscent of Sawant's successful campaign for the $15 minimum wage. Banks, on the other hand, invested in TV ads.

Hearne came in third with a little over 10%, followed by Morgan Beach (2.13%), and Lee Carter (2.05%).

City Council District 4
Jean Godden's 12-year career on the City Council looks like it's coming to an end. Despite the fact that her signature issue - gender pay equity - resonates with many voters, Godden found it hard to overcome the impression that she is too old and frail to be an effective council member.

She is drawing less than 21% of the vote, with challengers Rob Johnson (33.66%) and Michael Maddux (22.13%) probably going to the general election in November.

Open City Council seats
The three open City Council seats - in Districts 1 and 5, and the at-large Position 9 - will feature races between first-time candidates but long-time activists.

West Seattle's District 1 will see the battle of the legislative aides, with Nick Licata staffer Lisa Herbold (28.56%) facing off against former Joe McDermott staffer Shannon Braddock (28.26%).

In District 5 activist attorney Debora Juarez (38.87%) will go up against activist pastor Sandy Brown (20.38%). Brown played an active role in the R-74 campaign for marriage equality and has defied his Methodist denomination by marrying same-sex couples.

In the at-large Position 9, Mayor Ed Murray's former attorney, Lorena Gonzalez, racked up a whopping 64.23% of the vote, swamping the runner-up, Bill Bradburd (15.12%).

Incumbents headed for November
Incumbents Bruce Harrell (District 2), Mike O'Brien (District 6), Sally Bagshaw (District 7) and Tim Burgess (District 8) are all headed for the November ballot.

In fact, all seem to be pretty sure bets for re-election, although Burgess failed to get a majority of the votes cast for his at-large seat.

Harrell (61.91%) will face Tammy Morales (24.63%) in November. O'Brien (58.57%) will take on Catherine Weatbrook (22.27%), Bagshaw (76.55%) goes up against Deborah Zech-Artis (13.35%), and Burgess (47.56%) will face affordable housing activist Jon Grant (29.12%).

Port Commission
In the race for the Seattle Port Commission Position 2, incumbent Courtney Gregoire, daughter of former governor Christine Gregoire, pulled in 82.46% of the vote. She will face space colony advocate and perennial candidate Goodspaceguy (9.21%) in November.

The open Position 5 seat drew nine candidates, including veteran Gay activist and union lobbyist Herb Krohn. Krohn drew only a bit over 8% of the vote, however, and will not be on the ballot in November.

Instead, environmentalist Fred Felleman (22.61%) will face Marion Yoshino (18.49%).

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