Sawant challenger Egan Orion was briefly “Shegan”: I knew ahead of Candidate Survivor that Egan Orion was going to be in drag, but it still surprised me when Orion came on stage in a green dress, a curly red wig, and a gold and emerald necklace that looked more expensive than even his Amazon money could buy. Orion’s drag name is “Shegan,” which is… interesting? Our city’s new Gender Editors have yet to weigh in.
Other shenanigans followed: The audience at Neumos also saw Dan Strauss throw newspapers at a target, Tammy Morales sing a cappella, and Phil Tavel reference Deadpool. Shaun Scott ended up winning the contest. My colleague Rich Smith, who was also on stage during the competition, has all the details in this post.
González drops out: Seattle City Council Member Lorena González appears to have backed out of her bid for Washington Attorney General now that incumbent Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced he will run for re-election (after all, the governor's seat is no longer being vacated by Jay Inslee). Gonzalez had earlier told The Stranger that she would not run if Ferguson decided to run again. Gonzalez’s Thursday announcement was released under her official attorney general campaign sign (see below) and didn’t explicitly say that she wasn’t running, but... that's clearly what's happening.
Hella voters this year: Nearly 43 percent of Seattle's voters cast a ballot in this August's election, the largest turnout for any odd-year primary since 2011, according to a new story from Crosscut. There are a lot of things that could be contributing to this change. Dire national politics might be motivating local voters. Seattle residents could be especially unhappy with the current state of local politics, inspiring more voters. Or perhaps this year’s Democracy Voucher program has something to do with it. Crosscut says the November election could see turnout as high as 60 percent.
What do Democracy Vouchers have to do with turnout? The city’s groundbreaking public-financing program allowed many more candidates to run viable campaigns than would have been possible otherwise. Each of those campaigns was out knocking on doors and encouraging people to vote. When 14 people are running for election in Ballard, the result is a lot of residents getting a lot of reminders to vote.
The only Seattle City Council candidates who got more than 50 percent: Were Lisa Herbold in District 1 and Tammy Morales in District 2.
Brandi Kruse wants you to love cops more: Q13 Fox’s Brandi Kruse has a new segment out this week about the Seattle City Council and their treatment of police officers. Kruse used her Sunday segment, The Divide, to take a particularly partisan stance on the narrative that the council has unfairly treated SPD cops. After associating the recent shooting attack on cops in Philadelphia with the council’s treatment of cops in Seattle, she goes on to issue this advice for Seattle’s current and future council members (stage directions added):
What some Seattle city leaders have failed to understand is that they can be critical of officers while still supporting them. Those two can happen at the same time… For those of you who will still be serving on the council after this election, don’t wait until something bad happens to one of our officers to lend your support. Because your words [dramatic pause] will have come [dramatic pause] too late.
Kruse might want to pay attention more closely to what’s happening in council chambers. Yes, Kshama Sawant described two officers who killed a man as “murderers” in 2016, but she is also part of a council that gave officers a nearly 20 percent wage increase worth $70 million barely two years later. So... [dramatic pause] it turns out [dramatic pause] the council is both being critical of officers [dramatic pause] and supporting them.
Seattle gets a Green New Deal: The city council signed onto a legally-non-binding commitment to fight climate change earlier this summer, calling on the city to electrify all heating sources and put an emergency tax on large businesses to fund other green energy plans. Does this so-called “Green New Deal” mean anything when there’s a possibility that the council gets seven new council members after this election? My colleague Nathalie Graham investigates that question over here. She talked with one council candidate, Shaun Scott in District 4, who didn’t mince words in terms of his commitment to a Green New Deal:
[Shaun Scott] stressed how important the passage of this resolution was because "winning slowly on climate justice is the same thing as losing" and "our chances of reaching the point of where we can still reverse the impacts of climate change are dwindling."
I finally met Alex Pedersen: I met the Amazon-approved candidate in District 4, Alex Pedersen, for the first time this week. We met at Bulldog News on The Ave to talk about the prospect of more density coming to the historic street (look for that story in the coming weeks). Despite that fact that I've repeatedly described Pedersen a NIMBY, something he pushes back against, he was very friendly to me. He also happened to share that he is unhappy with his former boss, Tim Burgess, for waging an unaccountable and deceptive mailer campaign in the district through his no-limit Super Pac, People for Seattle. Here's what Pedersen had to say:
I’m the one who has door-belled every block in this district… and that’s calculated [out] to 18,000 voters I’ve knocked on the doors of myself. And I feel like I’ve connected to people… everything was going fine, we didn’t need any independent expenditures… I have a lot of respect for the other candidates and we can all speak for ourselves. We don’t need these big monied interests to come in and spend their money. I thought some of the direct mail was downright distasteful, inappropriate. I would like there to be no independent expenditures.
For some reason I doubt Pedersen's opinion will stop Burgess. I reached out to Burgess, the former council president, but he continues to decline to speak with me.