Sara Nelson: Wins for moderate candidates prove Seattle’s ‘political landscape has shifted’

Nov 8, 2021, 2:12 PM

Seattle councilmember Sara Nelson...

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

With nearly 55% of the vote as of last Friday’s vote tally, Sara Nelson appears to be on her way to becoming Seattle’s newest at-large city councilmember. Speaking to KIRO Radio’s Gee & Ursula Show, she detailed what it was about her message that resonated with voters.

Seattle council candidate Sara Nelson outlines plan for homelessness, policing

Nelson billed herself as the more moderate alternative to her opponent, Nikkita Oliver. With an existing city council that has skewed in a more progressive direction in recent years, she believes that voters “didn’t fall for the classic ‘right versus left’ framing” in her race.

“Voters rejected the far left agenda and its ‘us versus them’ rhetoric in favor of an inclusive, pragmatic approach to our challenges,” she opined. “The political landscape has shifted.”

Moving forward, she hopes that shift will “signal to my colleagues that the status quo isn’t working, and we have to do things differently.”

She also believes that her status as a self-described “policy nerd” will help shape her priorities on the dais, particularly as someone who’s passionate about the importance of local politics.

Compassion Seattle appeal denied, homeless amendment will not appear on ballot

“I’m interested in local politics because that’s where the rubber meets the road,” she described. “Local politics is what drives your electric bills and the state of your roads and bridges.”

That’s also part of what fueled concerns over reaching voters with her messaging.

“It’s hard to run as a policy nerd, because I realized that I was talking about nitty gritty sort of programs and little changes that I can make that would make a big difference,” she noted. “That doesn’t sound as compelling as some of the grander statements that can be made, but … we do have to actually focus on what will be my precise leverage as a city councilmember to do, and those are the kinds of commitments that I was making on the campaign trail.”

Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Gee and Ursula Show

Gee and Ursula

rahr police...

Frank Sumrall

Interim SPD Chief Rahr on police-city relations: ‘Can we please hit the reset button?’

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell appointed Sue Rahr as the city's interim police chief after removing Adrian Diaz from the role due to accumulating allegations.

3 days ago

Image: Former Congressman Dave Reichert is running in 2024 to be Washington's governor....

Frank Sumrall

Reichert: Ferguson trying to ‘undermine my reputation’ as honest public servant

"That question seems to be almost comical," gubernatorial candidate Reichert said. "No. 1, why does it matter who I'm going to vote for?"

9 days ago


Frank Sumrall

KIRO exclusive: Owner of recovered zebra describes escape, getting kangaroos

Shug was one of four zebras being taken back to their home at a farm in Anaconda, Montana, operated by owner Kristine Keltgen.

1 month ago

Photo: Seattle Mayor Harrell has decided to conduct an outside investigation of SPD....

Ursula Reutin

Ursula: The outside investigation of SPD can’t come soon enough

An outside investigation of SPD is desperately needed to address what many within the department have described as a "good ol' boys" culture.

2 months ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Why you shouldn’t hit on the barista: Gee Scott on avoiding awkward situations

Gee Scott has some sound advice for those young men or women who attempt to hit on the barista. Listen to The Gee & Ursula Show weekdays from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM or on-demand wherever you listen to podcasts. More info on The Gee & Ursula Show here:

2 months ago

Image: A man got beaten and robbed in broad daylight in Seattle at Cal Anderson Park on Sunday, Apr...

Bill Kaczaraba

Video of man getting knocked out, robbed in Seattle goes viral; Gee and Ursula respond

A disturbing video has gone viral of a man getting knocked out and robbed by a small group of people on Capitol Hill Sunday.

2 months ago

Sara Nelson: Wins for moderate candidates prove Seattle’s ‘political landscape has shifted’