Jolt axth2t

Here are the top two vote getters so far in this year's historic districted primary election; about half the total expected votes have been tallied after last night's first count of about 70,000 ballots (about a 17 percent turnout so far in an election that's predicted to see a 30 percent turnout).

I've also included analysis in the form of some snap metrics for a night when the big stories were this: longtime incumbent Jean Godden is trailing; all-star incumbent Kshama Sawant is not quite as invincible as she has appeared; and the so-called "neighborhood" movement faltered. (I say so-called because, my mixed use neighborhood, without any front lawns, is a neighborhood too.)

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The Snap Metrics

The Murray Metric: How good was the result for Mayor Murray?

The Socialist Revolution: What did the result mean for Sawant?

The HALA Backlash (or the Bradburd/Westneat Metric): Will NIMBYs like this result?

Corporate Cash: Does business money matter?

The Sinderman Metric: How did schmancy political consultant Christian Sinderman do?

The Blethen Blessing: Does the Times editorial page matter?

The "Stranger Bump": Are the alt weekly's endorsements still important? 

Universal Qi: Ultimately, how does this result sit within the Cosmos?


The top two are:

1. Shannon Braddock: 28.59

2. Lisa Herbold: 27.44

The snap metrics for this race:

The Murray Metric: Murray didn't endorse in this race. However, mainstream Democratic mom Braddock is more his speed. If Braddock ultimately wins, it's better news for Murray than an energized heir to Nick Licata would be. If Herbold, a longtime Licata staffer, ultimately wins, she will join the populist council bloc that often challenges Murray.

The Socialist Revolution: Herbold joined Sawant's rent control press conference last week and leans Sawant's way, though, Herbold is more friendly amendment than Occupy Westlake.

The HALA Backlash (or the Bradburd/Westneat Metric): Herbold is sympathetic to the so-called neighborhood movement.

Corporate Cash: Braddock was backed by $80,000 in business interest independent expenditures.

The Sinderman Metric: His candidate, Braddock, an aide to liberal King County council member Joe McDermott, came in First place (so far). One for one.

The Blethen Blessing: The Times's conservative Port of Seattle obsession led them to a bizarre non sequitur endorsement in this race, for unknown Port fan Phillip Tavel. Tavel came in a distant third with 19 percent.

The "Stranger Bump" Metric: If Herbold, whom the Stranger endorsed, moves past Braddock in the next few days—very likely as the later vote tends to be more lefty—credit the weekly paper.

Universal Qi: NA until there is rapid mass transit connecting West Seattle to downtown Seattle.


The top two are:

1. Bruce Harrell: 62.15

2. Tammy Morales:  25.54

The snap metrics for this race:

The Murray Metric: The Murray administration likes Harrell and Harrell likes the Murray administration.

The Socialist Revolution: Harrell endorsed Sawant's opponent Banks.

The HALA Backlash (or the Bradburd/Westneat Metric): NA

Corporate Cash: There was no grassroots district revolution here against the well-funded incumbent.

The Sinderman Metric: First place. Two for two.

The Blethen Blessing: Times endorsed Harrell.  (See below.)

The "Stranger Bump": The Stranger endorsed Harrell too. The Stranger/Times combo may have iced what little chance Morales ever had.

Universal Qi: Harrell's the most powerful advocate for the African American community on this council. His big win is a good sign.


The top two are:

1. Kshama Sawant: 49.96

2. Pamela Banks: 35.29

The snap metrics for this race:

The Murray Metric: The relatively flat initial showing for the celebrity socialist incumbent and Murray antagonist is good news for the mayor.

The Socialist Revolution: Under 50 percent in round one? Pretty middling for a movement.  Certainly, the later lefty votes will bump Sawant over to the 50 percent mark, but Sawant's stunted showing may be a sign that her 1930s message isn't exactly a fit for the city's most cutting-edge district.    

The HALA Backlash (or the Bradburd/Westneat Metric): Sawant, who held a press conference with lesser Seattle leaders like John Fox during the campaign, often teams up with the single-family homeowner class to demonize developers; it's a convenient win/win alliance that keeps development out of places like Northeast Capitol Hill's charming backyards and creates an easy political bogeyman for Sawant's consistent tax the rich mantra. Sawant's less than mandate numbers are a Lose/Lose for this traditional set up. 

Corporate Cash: More of it will pour in now. (Banks was not a recipient of IE corporate cash, because the chamber wasn't sure Sawant was beatable. Maybe now?)

The Sinderman Metric: His candidate, Banks, got through, but she finished second. Says Sinderman: "Sawant spent more money than any other candidate [$200,000]. The job in the primary is to introduce the candidate. We did that with a strong showing against an incumbent. [The highest numbers against any incumbent last night.] Now, we have to close the deal." 

The Blethen Blessing: The Times endorsed Banks.

The "Stranger Bump": Given the  Stranger's constant glowing Sawant coverage, they had more than just their endorsement in the mix. Sawant is likely to end up well above 50 percent, but anything short of  60 percent in the Stranger's own district would be a loss for the paper's unwavering Sawant campaign.

Universal Qi: A race that pits two left-wing women of color against each other for a seat on a predominately white council is an unfortunate expenditure of time and energy. Bad karma, Seattle.


The top two are:

1. Rob Johnson:  33.72

2. Michael Maddux: 22.82

The snap metrics for this race:

The Murray Metric: Murray endorsed Godden; she endorsed him in 2013, so he owed her. But he was, or at least his team (judging by some donations)  was, really for Johnson, whose pro-transit nonprofit, Transportation Choices Coalition, did the heavy lift on Murray's Metro measure and will do the heavy lift again on Murray's $930 million November transpo measure. Watch for Murray to formally come out for Johnson in the general. (Footnote: Maddux did heavy lifting on Murry's parks measure.)

The Socialist Revolution: Unwieldy Democrat Michael Maddux—and can we pause, here...whoa!—lined up with Sawant at her recent rent control, linkage fee press conference. Watch for Sawant's supporters to make the push for Maddux.

The HALA Backlash (or the Bradburd/Westneat Metric): Top vote getter Johnson is hands down the premiere urbanist (and the nerdiest urbanist) in this year's pack of 47 candidates. The pro-ped, pro-bikes, pro-density, pro-transit leader's big showing in a single-family stronghold like the Fourth District is a resounding repudiation of the claim that Seattle reversed course last week. Incumbent Jean Godden, who's currently in third place, didn't sign on to the HALA recs from the get go. And neighborhood council leader and District Four candidate Tony Provine subsequently tried to make hay out of the HALA recommendations. But with over-the-top emails hyping his sympatico vibe with Westneat, Provine came in a distant fourth.

Corporate Cash: Johnson was the recipient of a major chamber IE. The unions tried to make an issue out of it. Apparently to no avail. By the way, the SEIU-backed group, Working Washington, that spent IEs of its own to label Johnson a corporate flunky, was actually working against an SEIU-endorsed candidate; Johnson was endorsed by SIEU 925 (and by the United Food and Commercial Workers union too.)

The Sinderman Metric: Given that longtime incumbent Godden appears to have lost in the primary, it'd be more appropriate here to apply the Cathy Allen Metric. (Allen is Godden's consultant.) I'll leave it at that.

The Blethen Blessing: The Times endorsed Johnson, surely making it safe for mainstream voters to dump Godden.

The "Stranger Bump": This is a big win for the Stranger. Their Maddux endorsement clearly pushed the long shot (but policy crazed) candidate, who didn't raise much money nor compete with Johnson's hefty field operation, over the top. They will put their energy here in the general and quickly turn Johnson's current margin into a tight race.

Universal Qi: Revenge of the nerds.  Go Johnson. Go Maddux.


The top two are:

1. Debora Juarez: 38:24

2. Sandy Brown: 20.6

The snap metrics for this race:

The Murray Metric: NA

The Socialist Revolution: The closest thing to Sawant in the Fifth was Low Income Housing Institute staffer Mercedes Elizalde (another candidate who lined up with Sawant at her rent control presser.) She came in a distant 6th place with 5.86 percent.

The HALA Backlash (or the Bradburd/Westneat Metric): This was supposedly "neighborhood" turf—and like Provine in the Fourth, there were a couple of candidates, such as David Toledo and Debadutta Dash, who voiced hot opposition to Murray's initial push for zoning changes in single family zones. They had no luck with that play.

Corporate Cash: A weird $65,000 IE from the national realtors nudged unknown Kris Lethin into...well, fourth place. Juarez, who's half Native American, got $31,000 from the tribes.

The Sinderman Metric: Sinderman's candidate Brown was initially the frontrunner, raising cash and campaigning with swagger, but he stumbled into deep second. "The field is clear," now Sinderman says. "We need to make up some ground."

The Blethen Blessing: Another rare Times alignment with the Stranger turned into a strong first place showing for Juarez.

The "Stranger Bump": See above.

Universal Qi: Juarez could be the first Native American on the council.


The top two are:

1. Mike O'Brien: 57.96

2. Catherine Weatbrook: 22.35

The snap metrics for this race:

The Murray Metric: O'Brien is a potential Murray rival in 2017. However, the two have a good working relationship. This is a mixed blessing for Murray.

The Socialist Revolution: O'Brien is one of Sawant's main allies on the council. And now that Murray has ceded ground by caving on the HALA recs for changes to single family zones, watch for O'Brien to join with Sawant and put the blanket linkage fee back on the table. O'Brien has already asked his own consultants to review Murray's math which supposedly shows Murray's commercial-only linkage fee plus inclusionary zoning/upzone combo outperforms O'Brien's original plan to make developers pay on all development with zero upzones.

The HALA Backlash (or the Bradburd/Westneat Metric): O'Brien, once a committed urbanist, catered to the NIMBY voters this election year, reining in pod apartments, scaling back low rise development, and most of all, torpedoing the HALA committee recommendations to build density in single-family zones. (He caved before Murray famously caved last week.) This is the only kinda a win for the single family backlash, though.

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O'Brien's move away from urbanism was meant to fend off a challenge from his neighborhood council opponent, Catherine Weatbrook, who railed against the "deeply troubling" HALA report which she said "proposed little other than developer profits." If there was a real backlash, the bike riding O'Brien would have seen a much tougher challenge from the city's Neighborhood Council cochair, Weatbrook, where she serves with Provine, the vice chair. O'Brien, for example, was demonized by single family neighborhood groups for not accepting council member Tom Rasmussen's antidevelopment amendments to recent O'Brien legislation regulating low-rise development.

Corporate Cash: Shell No.

Sinderman Metric: NA. He didn't have a candidate in this race.

The Blethen Blessing: The Times conspicuously bailed on anti–Shell Oil kayactivist O'Brien. No matter.

The "Stranger Bump":  The Stranger is all in on O'Brien, but it's not clear he needed the help.

Universal Qi: If O'Brien can ever synthesize his original Sierra Club urbanism with his now-dominant social justice ideology, the universe will sing. Until then nothing's real clear.  


The top two are:

1. Sally Bagshaw: 75.91

2. Deborah Zech-Artis: 13.54

The snap metrics for this race:

The Murray Administration: NA

The Socialist Revolution: Bagshaw has made a point of getting in Sawant's face. With the highest numbers, by far, of any incumbent, it sure seems like she got a mandate to continue doing  what she's doing.

The HALA Backlash (or the Bradburd/Westneat Metric):  The so-called neighborhood movement didn't even field a candidate to challenge the council's emergent bike/ped/transit/density champion. Typically, the only people who don't run candidates in Seattle are Republicans.

Corporate Cash: Yeah, but it includes Nick Hanauer. And Downtown Emergency Service Center legend William Hobson is on Bagshaw's donor list too.

The Sinderman Metric: Easy win. Four for Six.

The Blethen Blessing: Another two-fer with the Stranger.

The "Stranger Bump":  See above.

Universal Qi: Bagshaw is growing on the universe.


The top two are:

1. Tim Burgess: 48.34

2. Jon Grant: 28.36

The snap metrics for this race:

The Murray Metric: John Roderick, who came in a distant third, was seen by still-loyal Mike McGinnistas as their best chance to take out their old rival Burgess; several old McGinn hands advised Roderick, including McGinn himself. (Roderick's transit plan was straight out of McGinn's playbook.) Roderick's disappointing showing, yet another loss for McGinn, also reads as another win for Murray.

The Socialist Revolution: Big win here. Grant, who many thought would lose to sexy celeb Roderick, has made a strong point of aligning himself with Sawant. And Sawant with him, even deferring to Grant at their recent joint press conferences. Grant is a proponent of rent control. Whether the revolution will be televised, however, depends on how much further Grant can take this. I will say, if there's anyone colder and stiffer than's Grant.

The HALA Backlash (or the Bradburd/Westneat Metric): Here's a win for them. Grant has been critical of the HALA deal, demanding more money from developers.

Corporate Cash: Grant didn't raise much money, $40,000 to Burgess's $244,000. And Grant's average contribution was $151 to Burgess' $259. (Roderick, by the way, raised $100,000.)

The Sinderman Metric: He was working for Burgess. Five for seven.

The Blethen Blessing: The Times endorsed Burgess. He's not in the clear, though.

The "Stranger Bump": You can chalk Roderick's loss up to the fact that the local rock and roll paper did not endorse the local rock and roller. Well, Roderick will anyway.

(Interesting footnote theory I heard: Not that it will get Roderick anywhere—he finished with just 15.66 percent—but watch for Roderick's vote, not doctrinaire lefty Grant's numbers—to increase in the later more progressive counts. This will be a sign that Grant's brand of left wing politics overlaps, like Sawant's, with old-school lefties, rather than young progressives.

Universal Qi: This is going to be one sour race featuring gross alliances on both sides: reactionary populists and idealistic lefties versus defensive corporatists and lofty liberals. 


The top two are:

1. Lorena Gonzalez: 63.72

2. Bill Bradburd: 15.21

The snap metrics for this race:

The Murray Metric: Huge win. Murray endorsed his former legal counsel, Gonzalez, in this race. Meanwhile, Bradburd, in his nominal second place showing, made a show of trashing Murray over his HALA recs. "Awful," he said when they came out.

Murray told me last night that he first met Gonzalez when he interviewed her for his legal counsel spot. He was impressed and was honored to back her. "Just like Cal Anderson was a mentor for me, a working class kid, I hope I can be that for her," Murray said referring to the state's first openly gay state legislator. "To see a young woman from a farmworker background win a city council race is so impressive. People may say I'm responsible [for Gonzalez's win], but noooooo. They don't know Lorena. They'll get to know her."

As for Bradburd and the supposed "neighborhood" backlash, Murray said: "People may be frightened by all the growth that's happening, but we're also a city that's ready to engage. We're invested in affordable housing and we're going to have a conversation when it comes to the geography of race and class in this city. We want to have that discussion."

The Socialist Revolution: Bradburd has allied himself with Sawant at two press conferences. His dismal numbers are a big loss for the cause ... despite the obvious fact that Gonzalez is actually more left wing than either of them.

The HALA Backlash (or the Bradburd/Westneat Metric): Bradburd is arguably the defining figure in the anti-HALA recs "movement." His flatline showing is another sign that his cause is loud, but irrelevant. 

Corporate Cash: Gonzalez definitely outraised Bradburd, $160,000 to $71,000, but that cannot explain the near 50 percentage point spread.

The Sinderman Metric: Six for eight ... meaning, with his client Gonzalez winning, he's got six first places and two second places.

The Blethen Blessing: In another crossover with the Stranger, the Times endorsed Gonzalez.

The "Stranger Bump": Even the Stranger, which appears to have abandoned its urbanism for populist rhetoric these days, couldn't stomach populist Bradburd, who's  been an outspoken antagonist of pod apartments, and more recently, an angry critic of the notion that race and class are baked into Seattle's exclusive zoning rules .

Universal Qi: Things are the opposite of what people thought they were.

Final read:

The Murray Metric: A big night for Mayor Murray. With the exception of his public Godden endorsement, the results went his way all night.

The Socialist Revolution: Jon Grant besting Roderick (convincingly) is a solid win for the Sawant left. But Sawant's own showing was a slight reality check. 

The HALA Backlash (or the Bradburd/Westneat Metric):  Kind of devastating really.

Corporate Cash: Lots of it.

The Sinderman Metric: Impressive showing last night, but with strong opponents like Herbold in the First, Sawant in the Third, Maddux in the Fourth (Johnson would have rather drawn Godden), Juarez in the Fifth, Grant in the Eighth, Gonzalez may be his only safe bet right now. 

The Blethen Blessing: The Times had a mixed to meh showing, only moving the needle in a couple of races, which was offset anyway by O'Brien's win and more so, no sign of their HALA backlash.

The "Stranger Bump": The Stranger had a clear impact for Maddux and Grant, and expect more late for Herbold and Sawant.

Universal Qi: Elections (and ideas you can't prevent people from talking about) are good.