Last Thursday it looked like Kshama Sawant's team had softly launched her candidacy in a description of a Facebook event called Socialists Into City Hall—Building the Mvmt in the 2019 Election, which, much to the chagrin of a former MTV video jockey, celebrates the candidacies of three people running for council who fall along the socialist spectrum. Both Tammy Morales and Shaun Scott are members of the Democratic Socialist of America, while Sawant is a member of the Socialist Alternative.
But on Monday Councilmember Sawant registered with the Seattle Ethics and Elections Committee, making her campaign that much more official. She could still, of course, jump out before the filing deadline in May, but that would be an unlikely move for an incumbent.
Over the phone, Sawant campaign manager Chris Gray said they had to file when they did because they were receiving "unsolicited donations from people who are excited about Kshama running." In order to be in compliance with municipal campaign finance law, Sawant's team needed to register within two weeks of depositing a donation. Otherwise, they'd have to return the money to the contributors.
When asked about describing Sawant as a "candidate" in the Facebook post, Gray said the campaign wanted to "send a clear message that there's a crew of socialists running" for office in Seattle. "There are socialists running and winning across the country, and we’re thrilled that’s occurring in Seattle this year with Tammy Morales and Shaun Scott as well, so it's as important to show that we want to work with folks who share a similar world view," Gray added.