The hotly contested Seattle City Council Position 8 primary drew more than $800,000 in contributions. Teresa Mosqueda and Jon Grant appear to be advancing to the November election
Teresa Mosqueda and Jon Grant appear to be advancing to the November election in the hotly contested primary for Seattle City Council Position 8.
Incumbent M. Lorena González will likely face neighborhood activist Pat Murakami in the sleepier Council Position 9 finale.
If Tuesday returns hold, the Position 8 race would pit labor-backed Mosqueda, 37, against socialist-supported Grant, 35. Mosqueda had 31 percent of the vote, while Grant had 24 percent.
Sara Nelson, 51, co-owner of Fremont Brewing and a former council aide, was running a close third. Nelson trailed Grant by 936 votes, with 23 percent.
Mosqueda, a labor-movement leader, is endorsed by every Democratic Party group in the city and dozens of elected officials, such as U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal.
Grant, an affordable housing activist, has been endorsed by the Democratic Socialists and the Socialist Alternative group, of which Councilmember Kshama Sawant is a leader.
Grant collected the maximum in democracy vouchers allowed for the primary, $150,000.
Mosqueda collected $128,125 in democracy vouchers from voters.
When contributions to Nelson and a pro-Nelson business-backed independent expenditure (IE) campaign topped the $150,000 spending limit agreed to by voucher candidates, Mosqueda and Grant were free to raise additional funds. As of Tuesday Mosqueda had collected $86,792 and Grant $26,622.
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Mosqueda was also backed by $118,000 in labor-funded IE campaigns.
“Our win shows support by a broad coalition of folks who saw an ability to have a voice on the council,” Mosqueda said. “Democracy vouchers very much gave people a way to participate in the electoral process they may have felt shut out of.”
She said she looked forward to coming discussion and debate with Grant or Nelson, whichever one appears on the Nov. 7.
Grant said recent elections have shown a pattern of progressive voters marking their ballots late. “I think there’s going to be a lot of late returns favorable to us,” he said.
Grant has pledged to not take contributions from corporation or developers, whom he said are driving economic displacement in Seattle. “Business as usual simply is not enough,” he said. “We need folks willing to lean into income inequality.”
One policy difference between Grant and Mosqueda: he says Seattle should force developers to make 25 percent of new housing units affordable. That’s too high, Mosqueda says, arguing it could hamper production of new housing.
Nelson said she is optimistic and that the late-vote pattern might be changing.
“The vote spread is minimal for a citywide race … when you consider how many people vote in Seattle,” she said. “So it’s going to be a waiting game. I’ll be watching (Wednesday’s) returns very closely.”
The field for Position 8, a citywide open seat, included five other candidates. The primary race drew more than $800,000 in contributions to candidates and IEs.
González leads in Position 9
The council Position 9 primary, with six challengers against incumbent González, totaled less than $100,000 in campaign contributions.
González, with 61 percent of the vote, held a commanding lead over South Seattle activist Pat Murakami, with 20 percent. David Preston was third with 10 percent.
González won the citywide seat in a 2015 landslide against neighborhood activist Bill Bradburd. She’s collected endorsements from labor, business, environmental, feminist and social-justice groups. All of her fellow council members have endorsed her except Kshama Sawant.
González is touting her record on police oversight, aid for immigrants and increased density.
Murakami, owner of an information-technology company, is calling for more fees on developers and hiring more police officers. She opposes the income tax on high-earners approved by González and the council.