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Seattle council candidates, fundraising
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Three candidates lead early race for Lorena Gonzalez’s open Seattle council seat

Sara Nelson (left), Nikkita Oliver (center), and Brianna Thomas (right). (Campaign courtesy photos)

Money continues to pour into Seattle races for mayor and city council. For the candidates looking to replace outgoing at-large Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez, it appears to be a three-way race in the early stages.

Three candidates jump out to early fundraising lead in mayoral race

Leading the pack in money received from individual contributions is Fremont Brewery founder Sara Nelson, having brought in nearly $90,000 as of Tuesday, April 6, spread out across 466 donors.

Prominent donors to Nelson’s campaign include current mayoral candidate Lance Randall, Communications Director for the King County Executive’s office Alex Fryer, former Seattle Councilmember Heidi Wills, and 2019 council candidates Brendan Kolding and Logan Bowers.

Much like she did in her previous council campaign in 2017 against Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, Nelson has opted not to use Democracy Vouchers to supplement her campaign. While individual contributions to council candidates who participate in the voucher program is limited to $300 per person, by opting out, Nelson can receive a maximum of $550 per donation.

Meanwhile, activist and community organizer Nikkita Oliver has taken in less money in individual contributions than Nelson at just over $60,100, but leads all candidates in total donors at 1,295, in addition to another 1,636 donations in the form of Democracy Vouchers. Combined between vouchers and individual contributions, Oliver has received over $108,000 to fund their campaign.

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Oliver’s prominent donors include current Seattle Councilmember Tammy Morales, 2021 mayoral candidate Andrew Houston, and Robert Cruickshank, who served as senior communications advisor to former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.

Rounding out the top three in money from individual contributions is Council President Lorena Gonzalez’s Chief of Staff, Brianna Thomas, having brought in just under $25,300 across 560 donors. Thomas is also participating in the Democracy Vouchers program, having received an additional $16,875 from 675 vouchers.

While Thomas has taken in the least money of the top three candidates, she has received the most donations from current Seattle councilmembers. That includes Councilmembers Dan Strauss, Lorena Gonzalez, and Lisa Herbold, as well as former Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, 2021 mayoral candidate Colleen Echohawk, and Seattle School Board Director Zachary DeWolf.

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