Precinct-by-precinct results from the Nov. 3 election show a tale of two Seattles, with wealthier voters and homeowners leaning one way and less affluent voters in apartment-heavy neighborhoods leaning the other.
Mapped results from Seattle’s Nov. 3 election tell a familiar tale of two cities: Voters in wealthier precincts dominated by single-family homes mostly leaned one way, while voters in less-affluent precincts packed with apartment buildings leaned the other.
Jon Grant, who lost by 10 percentage points to Council President Tim Burgess in the race for Position 8, a citywide seat, did well in neighborhoods with a lot of renters.
Grant, the former Tenants Union of Washington State executive director, won many precincts that Mike McGinn carried in 2013, when he was unseated as mayor by Ed Murray. Like McGinn, Grant was considered less the business candidate.
Grant won 60 percent or more of the votes in precincts across Capitol Hill and the Central District, a pair of dense, diverse neighborhoods in Seattle’s urban core.
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He also edged out Burgess for a majority of the precincts in rapidly developing Greenwood, Ballard, Fremont, Wallingford, Eastlake, Delridge and Columbia City.
Burgess, by contrast, won 60 percent or more of the votes in nearly every precinct bordering and overlooking Lake Washington, Puget Sound and Greenlake.
“Jon Grant won the middle of the city and Tim Burgess won either side,” said Mercedes Elizalde, a Low Income Housing Institute volunteer coordinator who ran for a different council seat, losing in the primary. “The middle is where people are seeing more development and where people are having more housing-affordability problems.”
Numerous precincts where Burgess held sway sided against Proposition 1, the Move Seattle transportation levy. But the $930 million measure proved more popular than Grant in some swing neighborhoods and overall. It passed by 18 percentage points.
The election was Seattle’s first in more than 100 years with voting by geographic districts for City Council seats; seven of nine races were decided that way. The new system cleaved to the old storyline in several districts, where candidates split territory along economic lines.
In District 1, Lisa Herbold was considered the marginally more progressive candidate. She carried working-class neighborhoods Delridge and South Park.
Shannon Braddock was endorsed by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce’s political organization. She was the candidate of choice for most West Seattle precincts and her best results came in precincts within view of Puget Sound. The race is undergoing a recount because Herbold finished ahead by only 39 votes.
There won’t be a recount in District 3, where socialist Councilmember Kshama Sawant beat Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle president Pamela Banks by 12 percentage points. But the same divide was perhaps even more stark.
Sawant swept almost every precinct in the urban part of Capitol Hill and in the Central District, while Banks won nearly every precinct around Volunteer Park and along District 3’s Montlake and Lake Washington waterfronts. Banks took just two of 18 precincts along Madison Street between 32nd Avenue East and Interstate 5 downtown.
The divide also was clear in District 4. Michael Maddux, a renter himself, cleaned up among precincts in the University District, Wallingford and Eastlake, home to many younger apartment dwellers. He lost to Rob Johnson, who grabbed every precinct in older, more upscale Laurelhurst, Windemere and View Ridge by at least 60 percent.
“You have the more populist leftists and the more moderate leftists,” Maddux said. “Generally speaking in District 4, besides Ravenna you have west versus east.”
The number of precincts a candidate won doesn’t tell the whole story, said Heather Weiner, a political consultant who ran the campaign for Initiative 122, an elections-reform measure approved by voters. Some precincts had more voters participate.
“The turnout numbers in different precincts are just as critical,” Weiner said.
Not every race involved a voting split. Lawyer Debora Juarez defeated former pastor Sandy Brown in precincts across District 5, while Councilmember Sally Bagshaw won every precinct in District 7. Lawyer Lorena González beat neighborhood activist Bill Bradburd in the citywide race for Position 9, winning every single precinct in Seattle.
Catherine Weatbrook and Tammy Morales, meanwhile, snared clusters of precincts in their respective races against council members Mike O’Brien and Bruce Harrell.
Weatbrook’s strong showings in Ballard and in the neighborhood where she lives, Crown Hill, weren’t enough. She lost in District 6 by 23 percentage points.
Morales held sway in District 2 precincts around Columbia City, where enthusiasm about new bars and restaurants has been tempered by concerns about gentrification.
The first-time candidate nearly toppled Harrell, losing by fewer than 400 votes. But the council member won more precincts near Lake Washington and in the far South End.
“The established candidates prevailed along the waterfront, in the more expensive neighborhoods,” said Sharon Maeda, a community leader who supported Morales.