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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 20, 2019 - Volume 47 Issue 38
43rd District Dems break with tradition, endorse Sawant
Section One
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43rd District Dems break with tradition, endorse Sawant

Sawant calls for unity against corporate influence

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The 43rd District Democrats have endorsed Kshama Sawant for re-election to the Seattle City Council. This is the first time in history that a Seattle Democratic Party organization has endorsed a non-Democrat for election.

Sawant won handily at the September 17 meeting, with 69% of the votes, well over the 60% threshold required for endorsement. Shaun Scott, also a socialist, won endorsement from the 43rd District too, with 62% of the votes.

'We made history tonight, becoming the first Democratic Party legislative district in Seattle to endorse someone from outside the party, whose values we align with,' said Amy Madden, a leader in the 43rd LD Democrats.

'Kshama has long-standing relationships with environmental, housing justice, and other organizers within the 43rd Democrats. She has fought beside us, from the campaign to divest the city from fossil fuel industry, to the fight for 15, to passing landmark renters' rights legislation. The scale of corporate PAC money spending against progressive candidates in this election points to just how effective our progressive coalition has been in recent years. We're going to continue to build a more inclusive, compassionate city, if Democrats, socialists, labor, and other progressives stick together.'

Scott Alspach, the chair of the 43rd LD Democrats, added that 'our members know that Councilmember Sawant is a strong advocate for workers, renters, and marginalized communities throughout Seattle. With the vote tonight our membership made it very clear that we care more about the values a candidate holds than the labels they use.'

Retiring City Councilmember Mike O'Brien, a member of the 43rd District Dems, spoke in favor of the Sawant endorsement, saying, 'She is a fierce advocate... I have never doubted who Councilmember Sawant represents on City Council.'

The 43rd District covers large portions of Sawant's City Council District 3 and Scott's District 4. Sawant is the incumbent councilmember, while Scott is running for an open seat.

Sawant also won the unanimous endorsement of the King County Young Democrats on September 15. She also managed to block endorsement of her opponent, Egan Orion, by the 37th District Democrats.

Rules prevent the 37th District from endorsing anyone but a Democrat, but Sawant still got 59% of the vote, leading that group to declare 'no endorsement' in the race. This was seen as a victory for Sawant's supporters.

After the endorsement meeting, Sawant called for a united front of progressives to take on corporate influence in city politics.

'As I said to the 43rd members before the vote today, now more than ever, we need to unify working people, Democrats, socialists, and the labor movement against big businesses attempt to buy City Hall - but also to offer a positive vision: for a Green New Deal, rent control, taxing big business to massively expand social housing, and to fight for a city that works for ordinary people,' she said.

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