Thursday Jolt: A "Socialist Alternative" for the 43rd

By Afternoon Jolt August 30, 2012

Today's winner: Socialist Alternative state house candidate Kshama Sawant. 

Sawant, who ran as a socialist candidate against state Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-43, Seattle) but was also the subject of a successful write-in campaign, led by The Stranger, against Democratic house speaker Frank Chopp (D-43, Seattle). Sawant got 2,854 votes to Chopp's 24,287, more than the one percent needed to go through. Sawant also made it through the Pedersen race, but she's decided to take on speaker Chopp.

Under state law, if a candidate makes it through in more than one race, she can choose in which race to continue. However, state law does not allow write-in candidates to declare a party preference in a race for which they did not declare—in this instance, the Chopp race.

Today, though, a King County Superior Court judge ruled that Sawant could declare her party preference on the general-election ballot, agreeing with Sawant that she did declare a party preference (Socialist) when she initially filed for election in the race against Pedersen.

In a statement, Sawant declared her win a victory for grassroots campaigns that have been "largely shut out of the U.S. political process." She said her platform is about taxing big business and the rich to make up cuts to education and health care.

Today's second winner: State house speaker Frank Chopp. 

Chopp isn't exactly dismayed that the Socialist got to declare her party affiliation on the ballot; in fact, he wrote a letter on her behalf, declaring, "I believe it is in the best interest that all voters know who they are voting for and with which party they identify."
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