Kshama Sawant, Seattle's socialist city council member, is behind in early recall election results


In what could be a massive blow to Seattle’s progressive faction, Kshama Sawant — one of the city’s most prominent and polarizing elected officials — is losing in an election that would oust her from her Position 3 seat on the Seattle City Council.

Early results from Tuesday’s special election show Sawant behind, with 53% of District 3 voters choosing to recall Sawant, and 47% voting to retain her.

There are roughly 2,600 ballots left to count. Sawant would need to secure more more than 75% of the remaining ballots over the coming days in order to close the gap. That is a steep hill, but progressive voters are known for voting later, which means the bulk of the remaining votes could be in Sawant's favor.

Another batch of results will be released Wednesday, and King County election officials expect to be done counting ballots by Friday.

If Sawant is recalled, it would be yet another frustration for Seattle progressives, who saw their preferred candidates lose to more moderate ones in several key races during last month’s general election. It would also illustrate that District 3 voters seemingly care more about her conduct in office than they do her stances on policy.

Sawant faced a recall on three charges that were each listed on the ballot voters received. First, that she used city resources to support a proposed ballot initiative. Second, that she violated state health orders by letting Black Lives Matter protestors into a locked City Hall last summer. And third, that she led a march to Mayor Jenny Durkan’s house, the address of which is protected under state confidentiality laws because of her work as a federal prosecutor.

Sawant admitted to the first charge, saying it was an accident. As to the second and third charges, Sawant has said she didn’t violate a specific state health order when she let protesters into City Hall and that she had no part in organizing the march to Durkan’s house.

The state Supreme Court, which allowed the recall to go forward, did not rule on the veracity of the charges. But whether Sawant violated a state health order or led protestors to Durkan’s house no longer matters — voters are letting her know they disapprove of her actions at the ballot box.

If recalled, Sawant would be removed from office later this month. The Seattle Ci... (Read more)

Submitted 44 days ago

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