Kshama Sawant at her campaign headquarters.
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  • Kshama Sawant at her campaign headquarters.
Today, packed into a tiny room at her campaign headquarters, Kshama Sawant and her exuberant campaign team gathered to celebrate the 4:30 p.m. ballot drop, which, as Goldy reported below, shows her just squeaking into the lead, passing Richard Conlin by 41 votes. She says she got 57.65 percent of this last drop, continuing a trend that, if it keeps up, will see her in a second-floor office at City Hall come January.

Never one to rest for even a moment, she told the room this is just the beginning. "We are just on the cusp of bigger things," she said. "Winning this seat on the city council is just the first step. The next is the $15 minimum wage. We are going to forge ahead for $15 an hour in Seattle." Her campaign staff confirms that she'll introduce a minimum-wage ordinance if she makes it to council (which, again, is looking increasingly inevitable), but if it fails, she'll help build a movement to get it on the ballot, a la SeaTac.

She also called out the stupid, stupid Forbes article that questioned her ability to be an economics professor if she's silly enough to be a socialist. Laughingly calling it "poorly written" and a sign that "the right wing [is] panicked," she continued: "The eyes of the left, nationally and internationally, are on Seattle"—due to both her campaign and the SeaTac minimum wage campaign. And she says the "manifest take-home message" of her success in Seattle is that the old rules of left-wing politics no longer apply. Seeking the endorsement and support of the Democratic Party? You can win without it. Taking money from big business? You can skip it. "How do we take money out of politics?" she says she was asked over and over by Occupiers. Her answer today: "This is how you take money out of politics!"

And she says that while it's great that mayor-elect Ed Murray has endorsed a higher minimum wage, "We were calling for that before it became cool." His phase-it-in-over-an-unspecified-number-of-years timeline is too wishy-washy. Her timeline for a $15-an-hour campaign? Next year.