Jean Godden was in third place, while other incumbents were comfortably ahead in Tuesday primary election results for the Seattle City Council’s first elections by district.
Seattle City Councilmember Jean Godden was in third place in her bid for re-election, Councilmember Kshama Sawant was heading to a showdown against Pamela Banks and Council President Tim Burgess was racing ahead Tuesday night in the first results of a historic primary election.
All nine council seats are up for grabs this year, as seven of them move to voting by geographic district.
Leading up to the primary, Godden — running in Northeast Seattle’s District 4 — was viewed as the most vulnerable of six current council members seeking re-election.
She had only 21 percent of the vote as of Tuesday night, trailing Rob Johnson’s 34 percent and just behind Michael Maddux’s 23 percent.
In all nine races, the top two vote-getters will move on to the Nov. 3 general election.
Johnson heads the Transportation Choices Coalition, a nonprofit that advocates for transit, biking and walking. Maddux is a paralegal and Democratic Party activist.
Godden said Tuesday night she’s confident she’ll at least overtake Maddux as votes continue to be counted in the coming weeks.
“We have to wait a bit. This has happened to me before,” the 83-year-old former newspaper columnist said. “We ran a good race and I think things will probably work out.”
Maddux also sounded optimistic.
“I think the early results are promising,” he said. “Late ballots tend to trend for the more progressive candidate, which puts us in a good position.”
Sawant battled several primary opponents, including Banks, whose candidacy has been largely bankrolled by businesspeople fed up with the socialist council member.
The early results in District 3, which includes Capitol Hill and the Central District, put Sawant in first with 50 percent and Banks in second with 35 percent. They’ll have a fierce faceoff in the general.
“Now the real battle begins,” said Sawant campaign spokesman Philip Locker.
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Burgess, criticized by his challengers as too conservative, is trying to hold onto one of the council’s remaining citywide seats in his quest for Position 8.
He had 48 percent of the vote on Tuesday night and will head to the general. Jon Grant, a former executive director of the Tenants Union of Washington State, was second with 28 percent. Indie-rock musician John Roderick had 16 percent.
“We’re very encouraged,” Burgess remarked, saying he expects to face Grant in the runoff. “It’ll probably be like the primary. Jon is pretty accusatory and makes a lot of outlandish statements.”
Councilmembers Bruce Harrell, Mike O’Brien and Sally Bagshaw all were comfortably ahead. In Southeast Seattle’s District 2, Harrell will advance to face off against Tammy Morales.
O’Brien had 58 percent in District 6 and will be on the November ballot, probably against Catherine Weatbrook, who had 22 percent.
Bagshaw had a whopping 76 percent, while opponent Deborah Zech-Artis was second with 14 percent.
Wide-open races in District 1, which covers West Seattle, Delridge and South Park, and in District 5, which covers most of North Seattle, lack current council members.
Shannon Braddock, who works for Metropolitan King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, and Lisa Herbold, an aide to retiring Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata, had 29 percent and 27 percent, respectively, separated by only 124 votes.
Phillip Tavel, a defense lawyer, was third with 19 percent.
Debora Juarez, a former King County Superior Court judge, had 38 percent and will move into a runoff, most likely against former Methodist pastor Sandy Brown, who was second with 21 percent, or Halei Watkins, with 14 percent.
Lorena González, who stepped down as Mayor Ed Murray’s legal counsel to seek citywide Position 9, will advance in that race. Neighborhood activist Bill Bradburd was second and urban planner Alon Bassok was third.
About 21 percent of registered Seattle voters had returned their ballots as of Tuesday night. Throughout King County, including Seattle, the number was about 19 percent.
Elections officials said Tuesday they expect the county’s turnout to ultimately be about 30 percent.
There were 47 council candidates in the primary election, and many spent Tuesday knocking on doors, waving to commuters and shaking hands at National Night Out block parties in pursuit of late votes.
Outside the King County Administration Building, Matt Mutton, a 46-year-old social worker who lives in West Seattle, slipped his ballot into a collection box about 5 p.m.
Mutton said he likes the new voting system because it may make council members more accountable to neighborhood concerns.
Robin Orona, 50, also stopped by the drop box. Orona said she was thinking about her own housing crisis as she filled in a ballot bubble beside Sawant’s name.
The Capitol Hill mother of two said her family’s rent is set to increase by hundreds of dollars next month because the building was recently sold. Sawant has been pushing for more protections for tenants, including rent control.
Information in this article, originally published Aug. 4, 2015, was corrected Aug. 5, 2015, to reflect the correct spelling of Jon Grant’s first name.