There were some expectations from the primary that far-left candidates for Seattle City Council Position 8—labor leader Teresa Mosqueda and former Tenants Union director Jon Grant—would compete for votes.
Turns out it would be Jon Grant and Fremont Brewing co-owner Sara Nelson gunning for the second seat, while labor leader Teresa Mosqueda took a very solid lead to make it to the November 7 general election. So far she has 30.8 percent of the votes—almost as high a percentage as Jenny Durkan in the mayor's race—and a 5,267-vote margin between her and Grant, who received 24.3 percent. Veteran council member Tim Burgess is retiring, leaving an open race for the at-large position.
"I'm just blown away and incredibly humbled," Mosqueda told PubliCola. Mosqueda was backed by five of her would-be colleagues on the Seattle City Council, every labor union and Democratic group in the city, and several other elected officials like congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.
It's still close between Grant and Nelson, who got 23.1 percent of the votes (a 936-vote margin). But with Seattle's later votes historically favoring the more progressive candidate, Grant is already considering it a victory.
"We feel very confident that we’ll see that," Grant told PubliCola. He said his campaign knocked on more than 23,000 doors and would continue a grassroots effort leading toward the general election.
Businesses put their weight behind Nelson, who was backed by Seattle Chamber of Commerce, with $121,000 in independent expenditures. (Mosqueda also received heavy labor support with $109,000 in independent expenditures.)
Nelson told PubliCola there was a time last year in the general election when the trend of later votes being more progressive didn't hold true, and met many candidates over the weekend who planned to support her and hadn't voted yet. Nelson said she's proud of the support she received, given that she entered the race in April.
"For an underdog getting into this race three months after everyone else, what the numbers show is that my message resonated with a lot of folks," Nelson said.
For Seattle City Council Position 9 race, incumbent Lorena González received overwhelming support with 61.4 percent of the votes so far. In the general she'll be facing Pat Murakami, who received 19.8 percent of the votes in the first count. David Preston is in third place with 10.1 percent, a 7,867-vote margin.
Updated August 2, 2017, at 2:54pm: This post includes an interview with Sara Nelson.