Seattle election results show ‘people want change’ says council candidate
Sara Nelson and Nikkita Oliver are leading in the race for Seattle City Council Position 9 in early primary election returns, garnering 42.1% and 36.5% of the vote, respectively.
Incumbent Position 9 Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez announced in February that she would not be running for re-election, to instead focus on a campaign for Seattle mayor.
Nelson, the candidate currently in the lead, is the co-founder of Fremont Brewing in Seattle. She told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH that she thinks the fact that she’s leading in the polls shows that the city is ready for change.
“I think the results say that people want change. And you don’t hear a lot about how the broad base of Seattle really feels in some polls, in some stories, but I tapped into it and I feel strong going into the general,” Nelson said after early polling had expected her to fall just behind Oliver.
As a small business owner herself, Nelson knows what it’s like to run a business in Seattle.
“70% of the jobs in the private sector are in small businesses, … and the business community is an ecosystem anyway, we shouldn’t be talking about big or large. But in fact, I do have a base of support among small business,” Nelson said.
“They form the fabric of our neighborhoods for innovation and we absolutely need to take care of small businesses and the workers that work there,” she added.
Among her other goals are to bring police staffing levels back up to a point where people don’t have to wait 14 minutes for a response, “which is the average response time for priority one.”
“Good policing very well might cost more money than bad policing,” Nelson said. “So we need to make sure that our police force is adequately staffed.”
Tied to the issue of policing is crime, and Nelson sees council as the ones who set the tone on safety.
“When it comes to crime, unfortunately, that is something that we’re going to have to work with the city attorney on. But basically, I think first and foremost, council sends the message that public safety is important,” she said. “And we will put adequate resources and attention to ensuring that everyone feels safe and that this is a good place to raise a family, start a business, visit, et cetera.”
“So it starts with a tone and a set of priorities put forth by council,” she explained. “And then we work with the executive and the city attorney to make sure that crime is taken seriously.”
The fact that Ann Davison is currently in the lead ahead of incumbent Pete Holmes, Nelson says is another sign that Seattle voters see alternatives and are looking for change.
“My race is a sign of that, as is the mayoral race. And so I think that there’s reason to hope,” she said.
“I’m not running because I’m a career politician, and I’m not running to be worried about my next election,” she added. “I have a job that I like. I’m running to get Seattle on the right track, and so I’m not going to go do the whole sort of herd mentality and just fall in line. What you see is what you get.”
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