Egan Orion concedes; Kshama Sawant wins Seattle City Council race
Shortly after the latest vote count on Tuesday, Egan Orion conceded to his opponent, incumbent Kshama Sawant.
In a video posted on YouTube, Orion said: “Today, after the last batch of votes came in, it was clear that our big election night lead had been reversed, leaving us around 1500 votes behind our opponent. Clearly, this was not the result we wanted to see, but it leaves me with no other choice than to concede this election.”
The vote tally was 21,970 (Sawant) to 20,277 (Orion), just 1,693 votes apart. King County Elections tweeted on Tuesday after the update that it only had 1,800 ballots to count across the entire county. That’s a far cry from the outlook a week ago on Election Night when Orion held an 8 percent lead over Sawant.
Orion has run PrideFest Seattle Center, and has led both non-profits and a pair of small businesses in District 3. He also works with the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and Broadway Business Improvement Area.
Orion supports the construction of more affordable housing through Seattle, including a proposal to “dedicate surplus or underutilized public lands to affordable housing.” He also wanted to require that SDOT prioritize its street design to better accommodate public transit, as well as an expansion of both bike lanes and rapid ride bus lanes. He wanted to expand low-level crime diversionary programs like LEAD, close loopholes in how guns are purchased, and prevent crime through “environmental design.” He opposed rent control and supported an expanded police force.
The Seattle Times, former Seattle Mayor and Councilmember Tim Burgess, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and Washington State Sen. Reuven Carlyle nedorsed Orion.
Sawant is District 3’s incumbent council member, first voted into office after the 2013 election. Before that, she was a software engineer and an economics instructor. She was the first socialist to win a citywide election in Seattle since 1916.
In the lead-up to her 2019 campaign, Sawant made rent control one of her primary issues, in a push to propose legislation that would kick in should the state’s own restrictions against rent control get reversed. She has also been an outspoken critic against the presence of companies like Amazon in Seattle, advocating for higher taxes on the rich to fund public schools and high-speed municipal broadband. She supports safe injection sites, and opposes congestion tolling and an expanded police force.
MyNorthwest’s Nick Bowman contributed to this report.