SEATTLE — Incumbent Council member Kshama Sawant declared victory Saturday morning over her opponent, Egan Orion, after a wave of last-minute voters helped to extend her lead.
Sawant was behind by 8.4% the night of the election and then narrowed the gap Thursday as more ballots were counted.
Sawant credits her victory in large part to backlash after Amazon made more than a $1.4 million donation to the Seattle Chamber of Commerce political action committee called the Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy, or CASE.
In October, Amazon dropped $1 million into the fight to change the makeup of the Seattle City Council, and the drop came as ballots were being prepared to go into the mail to voters. Earlier in the year, it had contributed $400,000 to CASE.
The larger donation had put the spotlight on the core battle in the council this year: business versus labor.
When KIRO 7's Essex Porter talked to Executive Director Markham McIntyre, of CASE, he said this: "We're not trying to dictate the makeup of the council. We're just trying to communicate with voters that they have a choice."
Orion was endorsed by that political action committee.
During Sawant's Saturday morning press conference, she had plenty to say, including this: "Working people, people of color, young people came out in huge numbers, came out to vote in overwhelming majorities for our socialist politics and against this attempted hostile corporate takeover."
Despite Sawant declaring victory, her supporters went door to door to talk to voters who had signature issues on their ballots to ensure all her votes would be counted.
However, Orion has not conceded the race.
Besides, King County Elections tweeted Friday that it was giving its team a "much-needed break this weekend" and told the public to check back Tuesday and throughout the week at 4 p.m. for updated results.
Below is raw video of Kshama Sawant's press conference/rally held Saturday.
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