November 15, 2013

Democrat Conlin Concedes: Seattle Elects Socialist Kshama Sawant To Its City Council

Longtime Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin conceded his seat to challenger Kshama Sawant late Friday after Sawant's lead widened to 1,640 votes, or 50.3 percent.
Sawant becomes the first Socialist elected to the city council. Her grassroots campaign focused on a $15 minimum wage, rent control in a city with rising rents, and a millionaires' tax to fund transportation. Sawant has a Ph.D. in economics, and has taught at Seattle Central Community College. She's been active in the Occupy Seattle movement.
Conlin has served 16 years on the council, where he most recently chaired the city's land use committee. During his press conference Friday, he said he was proud of his record on sustainability and transit.
Both Conlin and Sawant mounted post-election campaigns to get voters to double check that their votes had been counted.  Sawant ran as a Socialist Alternative. She previously ran unsuccessfully for  House Speaker Frank Chopp's seat in 2012. She won 29 percent of the vote in that race, which put her on the map. She had been steadily gaining on Conlin since election night.

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