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Lester Black

Durkan thinks doesn’t think socialism is a dirty word: Mayor Jenny Durkan waded into the council races this week by endorsing Amazon-approved District 2 candidate Mark Solomon, calling another District 2 candidate Tammy Morales a divisive socialist. Morales, who came within a few hundred votes of wining the seat four years ago, told me that Durkan was employing her own divisive tactics by using socialist as a pejorative term. Durkan went on KUOW and apologized for calling Morales a socialist and defended her "divisive" charge by saying “I think she’s divisive because we have really strong policy differences.” That’s… not the definition of divisive.

Tim Burgess gets negative: Former Council Member Tim Burgess has started spending the nearly $250,000 his no-limit People for Seattle PAC has raised by sending out negative mailers attacking Council Member Lisa Herbold, Council Member Kshama Sawant, and Zachary DeWolf, a current school board member running in District 3. Herbold said the mailer attacking her deliberately misrepresented how she voted on funding homelessness services. My colleague Rich Smith breaks down the anti Sawant/DeWolf mailer in a delightful post titled “God, I Love Watching These Civility Cops Go Negative.”

But what does Sandeep think? Sandeep Kaushik, one of Jenny Durkan’s “kitchen cabinet” all stars, weighed in on this year’s council races in a blog post for PostAlley.org. Kaushik, who was a Stranger writer before becoming a lobbyist for Comcast and Lyft, argues that this year’s election is a “battle for the soul of Seattle progressivism” between “populist left activists” and “communitarian progressive pragmatists.” I have no fucking idea what communitarian progressive pragmatist means but I think it has to do with rich people who are chill with gay people but don’t want to pay taxes. Anyway, Kaushik interestingly thinks that labor-backed candidate Andrew Lewis is a shoo-in for a primary win in District 7. Jim Pugel is usually seen as the leader in that race, but Kaushik makes a good point that Lewis might unite the liberal vote while Pugel might split District 7’s conservative voters with Michael George.

Facebook keeps breaking its own ad ban: Facebook announced last year that they would no longer accept any political ads in Washington after my colleague Eli Sanders found that the world’s largest social network was not complying with Washington state's political ad disclosure rules. But it’s become increasingly clear that Facebook either doesn’t care about its own ad ban or doesn’t have the capability of blocking political ads in Washington. Over $50,000 in political Facebook ads have been bought in this year’s council races alone, according to Eli’s latest story.

Your gas bill subsidizes bad politics: Puget Sound Energy, Washington’s largest utility company, is also a major player in local politics, donating over $660,000 to candidates in the last 11 years, including a $30,000 donation to the Chamber of Commerce’s conservative CASE Pac this year. My colleague Nathalie Graham took a deep dive into why PSE is so politically active and who they are supporting this year. Hint: It has to do with the utility company not wanting to go green.

How’d you win so fast? Abel Pacheco may have the title of the quickest council winner in city history after the District 4 candidate won the seat four months before the primary even happened, all thanks to Rob Johnson quitting the council to take a job with Seattle’s new professional hockey team. Pacheco was selected as Johnson’s stand-in in exchange for him backing out of the election. He gave The Stranger a taste of what it’s like being on the council. It sounds like a lot of coffee and late nights.

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Congrats, Ami! District 3 candidate and public defender Ami Nguyen gave birth to a daughter this week. Caitlyn was born on Saturday and weighs a healthy 6 pounds 10 ounces. The Nugyen campaign said this was the first time a council candidate has given birth during a campaign.

Ami Nguyen and her family.
Ami Nguyen and her family. Nguyen campaign

Here’s what Nguyen had to say about the birth, according to a press release.

“There’s never a perfect time to have a baby, but I’m excited to be in a position where I have the chance to help build a more inclusive Seattle for Caitlyn to grow up in. I want her to feel safe walking our streets, have access to great educational opportunities, and create a city that is affordable so that if she chooses to remain here in the future, that option is available to her. But right now, I’m just happy that she’s here and healthy.”