#Primary2017 (or: Where Seattle Said #BanMen)
The first results are in. Initial take: there are a lot of votes to count. Historically, later voters have skewed more liberal, but that changed last year. Was that a blip, or the beginning of a trend? We'll have an idea on Thursday (and I'll have my whole system up and running by then to make predictions). Another take: 2017 is not a good year to be a man running for office in Seattle against qualified and more qualified women.
So a few hot takes with these early ballots:
The New Establishment is winning. Some folks like to peg Seattle elections as the Establishment v. the left. I honestly believe it's really the Old Establishment, the New Establishment, and the "left". (I put quotes around that because on housing policy, Seattle's "left" tends to be pretty protectionist of single-family zoning, which is the definition of conservative - more on that later). The New Establishment began to really emerge in 2015 with folks like Lorena Gonzalez, Rob Johnson, and Shannon Braddock. With Teresa Mosqueda coming in over 30% (the last time someone didn't get the endorsement of either the Stranger or the Seattle Times, but still got through the primary...I don't even remember), the New Establishment is taking hold, as the Old Establishment and the Left are seeing decreased support from voters.
What is this "New Establishment"? It's folks who are going to be bold with actionable ideas that are thought out and fleshed out, not bumper sticker slogans masquerading as public policy (seriously, folks - nobody's defining what this magic 25% number is supposed to mean), who are pro-worker, pro-transit, and not afraid to challenge the status quo on zoning. It's also folks who are proudly on the left, but also interested in getting things done, not just making speeches. This may well be a powerful voting bloc gong forward.
Anti-Growthers are losing. Perhaps "slow-growther" is a more accurate term - but they had a bad night. Many of Seattle's loudest voices opposing development in Seattle - folks who would rather sacrifice lives than remove a tree to build a family a home - lined up behind Jon Grant, Pat Murakami, and both Bob Hasegawa and Nikkita Oliver. Suffice it to say - that did not go well for them. Their best hope for the general - the only candidate who has stated that they support keeping single family zoning (while telling other groups we shouldn't) - is Jenny Durkan. They don't strike me as natural supporters of Jenny Durkan. Of course, there is a chance that Nikkita Oliver can pull it off and overtake Cary Moon - but based on her campaign, going from 14/15% to 50%+1 is a much harder path than it would be for Cary Moon (institutional racism, urbanism, etc. etc.)
The Stranger Still Has It. Lots of chatter about whether the Stranger Endorsement even matters. It does. If Cary Moon gets through - thank the Stranger (and I'm guessing Jessyn Farrell has a few choice words about the Stranger - who endorsed her opponent, Sarajane Siegfriedt, in 2012...there's beef). Zachary Pullin DeWolf is crushing it. Thank the Stranger. Preeti Shridhar is going to the general election. Thank the Stranger. Ryan Calkins is just a few points behind the incumbent. Thank the Stranger. That's not to say these candidates didn't do a lot of their own work - I know most of them. They busted their ass. But for low-info voters, the Stranger endorsement remains crucial.
Rich Smith is taller in real life. I don't know what, but I was expecting him to be shorter that he is.
The Seattle Times - Not So Much. The Seattle Times went with all white people this year. In the 45th, where the two top contenders were women of color - they opted to stay out completely. For School Board, they have one big win - Eden Mack. But Eden Mack also swept the LDs, got the Stranger, got the Seattle Weekly, and basically everyone knew they were going to vote for her. Sara Nelson may be able to pull it off for Position 8, and Jenny Durkan came out strong, but in the end, their endorsement continues to have diminishing returns.
The Seattle Weekly....who knows? The Seattle Weekly made endorsements this year. It was weird to see that happen. Their endorsements were well thought, well written, and intellectually inconsistent. We'll see what happens in the General.
Tim Burgess is a #Hashtag reader. I saw Tim out last night (he's actually a really great guy who is fantastic to work with when we agree, and pretty damn respectful when we don't). He admitted to reading this blog.
Democrats are (probably) taking the State Senate. The 48th is now on lockdown for the Democratic Party. The 45th...all eyes were on the 45th. And with the initial drop, Democrat Manka Dhingra took over 50% of the vote, and Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund landed in the low 40's. This could tighten up - and the general is going to be a beast - but at this point, I would say it is likely Dhingra pulls off the win, and Democrats retake the State Senate for the first time since 2012.
There are a lot more ballots to count. Who takes second in the Mayor's race and Position 8 will really set the tone for the general election. But what is clear: Lorena Gonzalez is going for another four years, Teresa Mosqueda, barring a major upset, is probably going to be our next Seattle City Council Member, and Pete Holmes better ramp up his campaign - it's going to be a busy November.