As recall vote margin widens, Kshama Sawant confident she will keep Seattle council seat
The difference between recalling Seattle District 3 City Councilmember Kshama Sawant and her maintaining a role on the council is only 249 votes apart, with the “no” votes ahead, according to the latest tally on Friday.
And Sawant is confident it’s a done deal.
“It appears we have defeated the combined efforts of big business, the right-wing, the corporate media, the courts, and the political establishment who sought to remove our Socialist council office by any means necessary,” she said Friday, speaking to a crowd of supporters.
“The wealthy and their representatives in politics and the media took their best shot at us and we beat them again,” she added.
Sawant also said the recall campaign played dirty by delaying to a special election in December.
“Had it not been for blatant voter suppression, there is no doubt we would have won by a far larger margin. It would not even have been close,” she said.
After a fourth day of ballot counting, the attempt to recall Councilmember Sawant is failing. The votes swung in Sawant’s favor again Friday with a margin of 49.69% in favor of a recall and 50.31% against.
According to King County Elections, a total of 41,364 ballots were turned in by District 3 voters, just over 40,700 of which had been counted as of Friday. That number could be also subject to change as ballots postmarked by the Tuesday deadline trickle in by mail. Even so, “that really is most of it,” King County Elections told KIRO Radio. There are also just under 600 challenged ballots still under review.
The race is too close to call at this point.
The recall campaign’s manager, Henry Bridger II, released the following statement Friday:
“The Recall Sawant campaign set out 18 months ago to restore accountability in the District 3 City Council seat. While the ultimate outcome will likely fall short of removing Sawant from office, the results of this election ought to ring out like an alarm to Councilmember Sawant and those dealing in her style of divisive politics.
Our upstart, all volunteer-led campaign, mounted an effort that should make District 3 proud. By collecting thousands of petitions to qualify for the ballot, logging endless volunteer hours, and prioritizing fundraising from District 3 residents, our grassroots effort just delivered the closest margin Sawant has ever seen — a result equivalent of a 17-point city-wide loss.
While this election may not end with removing Sawant from office, let her narrow escape send a clear message: Seattle voters will not tolerate slash-and-burn politicians who shirk accountability and divide the city.
We are grateful to our volunteers and supporters who worked hard to get us this far. With the calls for accountability so clear, the Recall Campaign will continue working to cure every contested ballot and ensure everyone who voted in this election has their voice heard.”