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Battle over Kshama Sawant recall has now seen over $1 million raised combined

A flyer in defense of Kshama Sawant in the wake of a recall campaign. (MyNorthwest photo)

As the battle over the potential recall of District 3 Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant continues, the tug-of-war has now seen fundraising efforts crest a milestone, with over $1 million raised between both sides.

How Washington’s political divisions are driving a troubling rise in recalls

There have been two major fundraising entities as the recall fight has played out: Recall Sawant, and the Kshama Solidarity Campaign.

As of May 23 — the last date that funds were reported by the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission — Kshama Solidarity is narrowly outraising the recall campaign, having brought in over $531,000 across 5,083 individual donors. Of those donors, 52% are from outside Seattle city limits, totaling nearly $325,000. Another 26.5% of donors reside in District 3, with the percentage of donors from other council districts ranging between 1% and 4%.

Recall Sawant has raised significant funds of its own as well, having brought in almost $480,000 from 4,245 donors. Of those contributors, 36.3% are from District 3, while 18.8% are from outside of Seattle. An additional 12.6% of donors come from District 7, while 10.5% have been from District 4.

The recall campaign began collecting signatures in late April, triggering a 180-day window to gather 10,739 valid signatures from registered District 3 voters. That number constitutes 25% of total votes cast in the last election for the district’s council seat in 2019.

Recall campaign, Kshama Sawant dig in for lengthy battle

Should the group gather the requisite signatures within that 180-day period, it would put a simple “yes” or “no” recall vote on the ballot for the next regularly scheduled election. Given the narrow window, the next likely election the recall would be able to make it onto would be in November of this year.

This represents one of a flurry of recent recall attempts over the last year, including a recent second push to recall Governor Jay Inslee. Over the last five months, courts have thrown out recall petitions against Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza. In those cases, the state Supreme Court and the King County Superior Court ruled, respectively, that the allegations laid out in the recall petitions were legally insufficient.

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