Rantz: Seattle councilmember Andrew Lewis keeps claiming false campaign endorsement

Jul 12, 2023, 8:55 AM | Updated: 11:16 am

Image: Seattle City Councilmember Andrew Lewis...

Seattle City Councilmember Andrew Lewis. (Photo courtesy of Lewis for Seattle)

(Photo courtesy of Lewis for Seattle)

Embattled Seattle city councilmember Andrew Lewis keeps listing a campaign endorsement that doesn’t exist. The endorsement was an attempt to bolster his chances at re-election.

Lewis is in a tough re-election campaign in District 7, which includes Downtown, South Lake Union, and Queen Anne. He’s lost the support of downtown businesses after taking fringe, far-left positions on policing and drug legalization. During his first campaign for office, Lewis promised to support more police officers before vowing to defund the department by 50%. Most recently, he was the vote that killed an ordinance criminalizing drug possession to be in line with state law. It would have reclassified drug possession as a gross misdemeanor subject to the jurisdiction of Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison. After activist pressure, Lewis voted against the change.

One way to claim he has support from businesses is with an endorsement by Downtown Seattle Association CEO Jon Scholes. But he doesn’t have that endorsement.

Scholes confirmed to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH that he hasn’t endorsed Lewis. Yet, the endorsement is listed in the King County voters’ pamphlet. Ironically, the sentence after the endorsement notes that “King County Elections does not… fact check candidate and measure statements.”

Andrew Lewis keeps listing false endorsement

This isn’t the first time Lewis claimed Scholes endorsed his campaign.

Lewis originally listed the nonexistent Scholes endorsement on his campaign website. But at the time, Scholes told Discovery Institute’s Jonathan Choe that, “I never gave it.” He said he “became aware that it was (listed on the his site), but it was not an endorsement that was made.” After news spread that the endorsement was false, Scholes’ name was removed from the site. Yet, it also managed to land in a May questionnaire in Seattle’s newspaper of record. Lewis told the paper that he was “proud to be endorsed” by Scholes.

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In a statement to the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, Lewis emailed to say, “The deadline for changing the KC statement had passed when Jon requested the change. It will be changed for the general.”

Lewis also dismisses Scholes’ assertion that he never offered an endorsement.

“If you look at my launching statement there is a quote that is clearly extremely supportive and it was provided in the context of the campaign. I took that to be an endorsement. He was posted for months and the endorsement was referenced in several outlets including the Seattle Times, the Stranger, and the Puget Sound Business Journal, and there was never a request for a correction,” Lewis said. “When a request for a correction did come, I expediently moved to accommodate that request. I strongly value my relationship with Jon and I am very proud of the projects we have worked on together to advance Downtown recovery.”

Scholes wasn’t the only endorsement issue. Joy Shigaki, CEO and President of Friends of the Waterfront, was also listed on the Lewis campaign website. But that name was removed after his vote to kill the drug ordinance.

Lewis will try to turn a loss into a win

Lewis is attempting to please the Radical Left, business owners and constituents when it comes to the drug ordinance.

When the councilmember killed the ordinance, he did so under intense pressure from pro-drug legalization radicals who do not even live in his district. But he needs the radical base in order to help carry his re-election campaign against challengers who are gaining momentum and calling out Lewis’ positions on public safety and health.

Bob Kettle, a former Naval Intelligence officer, has hammered Lewis’ support for the defund movement. He just earned the endorsement of Seattle’s only newspaper. Olga Sagan is a business owner in the district who had to close down as a result of Lewis’ pro-criminal and anti-police advocacy and has been gaining traction for her inspiring backstory. She immigrated to this country in 1999 and quickly established Piroshky Piroshky as one of the city’s top bakeries. And Seattle police officer Aaron Marshall understands policing and public safety in a way Lewis never will. He’s on the front lines fighting against the very Lewis policies emboldening criminals.

‘It’s where I’m most needed’: Seattle cop is running for city council

The Mayor’s office, along with Davison, have been working behind the scenes on a new drug ordinance. It will pass because Lewis needs the political win. He will claim to be the reason why it passed after a second vote and will seek credit for negotiations he’s made in bad faith. He’ll spin this as a win for both sides of the debate and brag that it’s proof he can work with both sides to get legislation passed. But it’s nothing more than politics and as much a lie as his listed Scholes’ endorsement.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). He is the author of the book What’s Killing America: Inside the Radical Left’s Tragic Destruction of Our CitiesSubscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: Seattle councilmember Andrew Lewis keeps claiming false campaign endorsement