District 7 city council candidate Olga Sagan would not tell The Stranger who she voted for in the 2020 presidential election, a straightforward choice between normie Democrat Joe Biden and right-wing nutter Donald Trump. She argued that the person she voted for in 2020 has nothing to do with her current council race even though voting is generally regarded as a signal of your political beliefs and even though the city council is generally regarded as a place where politicians enact those political beliefs.
In an endorsement meeting, The Stranger asked the D7 candidates how they cast their ballot in 2020. Incumbent Andrew Lewis said he voted for President Joe Biden and Former Naval officer and “girl dad” Bob Kettle whipped out a photo of himself waving an American flag and standing next to his pro-Biden yard sign on election day.
Lewis and Kettle voted in alignment with 74% of King County, so it’s not really a tough question for them to answer. Sagan however did not provide an answer so readily… or really at all.
At first, Sagan said, “I don’t think I’ve voted for anyone in a very long time.”
Sagan’s civic engagement has been less than stellar, having not voted for city council or for mayor since 2013, but records show she did vote in the 2020 general election. Still, she initially said she did not vote for president.
The Stranger pressed her again, and the story changed. Her consultants told her she voted, and she remembered looking at a ballot, but she does not remember who she picked. She was too busy allegedly working 100 hours a week to “pivot” her local business, Piroshky Piroshky, during the ongoing pandemic.
Sagan grew defensive as The Stranger continued to pry. She said if she did vote, she would not have voted for Trump because he is a “crazy-ass person.” At the same time, she claimed her past voting decisions were usually uneducated. She called elections a “popularity contest” because she would typically vote for the name she had heard more from her friends in the business community because she was a self-described “horrible person who did not care about elections.” In the case of 2020, she said the business community championed one unspecified candidate.
Sagan ended the conversation by saying she would not answer the question.
…And then later in the meeting, she brought it up again. She shamed the Stranger Election Control Board for asking the most “divisive political question.” She said she was not raised to be a politician and thus did not have a squeaky clean record.
“I did not appreciate you asking the question because it has nothing to do with values that I carry,” Sagan said.
The SECB is not as dumb as we look, and her defensiveness raised a red flag or even a potential MAGA flag. Given some of her other comments during our endorsement meeting, it would not be totally shocking if Sagan voted for Trump.
First and foremost, Sagan is a business owner and Trump thinks he’s THE business owner. She’s a friend to real estate interests–ICE landlord and developer Martin Selig gave her campaign the maximum donation. Sagan also said she would not support any new taxes and would make cuts to funding for housing since she thinks Seattle only needs about 12,000 additional units. Plus, Sagan touts herself as anti-establishment, a sentiment that helped Trump rise to popularity.
Even if Sagan’s hiding a vote for the Orange Man, she could still win an election in Seattle. Republican City Attorney Ann Davison won her seat in 2021. However, she ran against an open abolitionist, which some pearl-clutchers thought made her the lesser of two evils. Sagan’s running against Lewis—not quite the same moral conundrum for the In This-House-We-Believe crowd.