Dori: ‘Death threats, hate mail’ don’t deter Recall Sawant campaign manager

Dec 7, 2021, 2:41 PM | Updated: 8:27 pm
campaign, recall sawant...
Henry Bridger II, a former supporter of Seattle city councilmember Kshama Sawant who is leading an effort to recall her, poses for a photo Dec. 2, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

UPDATE: Early results indicate that an attempt to recall Seattle District 3 Councilmember Kshama Sawant is currently passing by a 53.1% to 46.9% margin. Read more here.

Racist and homophobic hate mail. Envelopes filled with feces. Rocks thrown at petition gatherers.

With hours to go before final ballots are counted in the District 3 recall election against Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, Tuesday’s referendum vote has been “volatile” and dangerous, according to campaign manager Henry Bridger II.

“[Since] day one, I’ve had death threats – seven so far,” Bridger told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show. “My team has been attacked while collecting (petition) signatures. They’ve been spit on, had rocks thrown at them, liquids thrown at them, petitions ripped out of their hands.”

This “volatile” behavior is not surprising to Bridger, a former supporter of Sawant.

“They’re protective of their queen bee,” he said.

“Retaliating” is part of Socialist and Marxist movements, Bridger added.

Strong turnout for Sawant recall vote ahead of Tuesday deadline for District 3 ballots

But Bridger also said he’s “feeling pretty good” about pending results. Early forecasts show about a 41.5% voter turnout – a figure Bridger calls “incredible” for a single-issue election. In comparison, last month’s general election attracted about 50% voter turnout citywide.

For this election, only registered voters who live in District 3 neighborhoods can submit a ballot, which includes Madison Park, Capitol Hill, Denny-Blaine, First Hill, and Madrona, among others.

Sawant is Seattle’s longest-tenured city council member. Her opponents claim she needs to be removed from office over her misuse of city funds for a “tax Amazon” initiative; opening locked City Hall doors for a protest, in violation of COVID-19 health policies; and using her position to lead a march to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s home.

What’s it like, Dori asked, to have a concerted effort to try to intimidate you?

“It takes just one person to stand up to a bully,” Bridger said. “And then, once you do that, others will follow. It is not an easy task. Especially when you’re up against a Marxist organization that prides itself in getting what it wants.”

Listen to Dori’s election-day interview with Recall Sawant campaign manager Henry Bridger II:

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.  

Dori Monson on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
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Dori: ‘Death threats, hate mail’ don’t deter Recall Sawant campaign manager