2021 Election

Kshama Sawant's Get Out the Vote Campaign Decided the Recall Election

All that awkward eye contact was worth it for supporters of the Seattle City Council member.

By Benjamin Cassidy December 20, 2021

Kshama Sawant speaking in front of a crowd holding a "Defend the Central" sign.

Sawant will remain a representative of some of Seattle's most prominent neighborhoods.

So there was no recall after all.

On Friday, King County Elections certified that Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant had defeated the attempt to remove her from office. It was a narrow triumph—just 310 more District 3 voters bubbled "no" in a 41,000-plus vote election—but the socialist could once again shout out her support from "working class people" as last-minute ballots went her way. "We did not back down," she said during a victory speech before results were officially official.

As local politico Marco Lowe told Seattle Met in the lead-up to the December 7 election, Sawant managed to mount one of the city's most impressive get-out-the-vote campaigns ever in a political off-year. Kshama Solidarity Campaign tents were ubiquitous in the denser parts of the district during the days leading up to the voting deadline; clipboard-holders registered 1,700 new voters by December 3, and their voting popups helped produce an abnormally high 1,400 printed ballots. It turned out her team would need all those late votes.

The Recall Sawant campaign won't challenge the result. "While this election may not end with removing Sawant from office, let her narrow escape send a clear message: Seattle voters will not tolerate slash-and-burn politicians who shirk accountability and divide the city," campaign manager Henry Bridger II said in a statement.

Thus concludes another tumultuous season of Seattle politics. The city's next mayor, Bruce Harrell, has announced many members of his administration, including his niece and Lowe.

Now the Process can begin again.

Show Comments