‘No’ vote leading in race to recall Councilmember Kshama Sawant

SEATTLE — The “no” vote is keeping its lead in Monday’s ballot drop for the recall election of Councilmember Kshama Sawant.

The “yes” vote led by about a 6% margin in the first round of ballots.

In the Monday tally, the “no” vote was leading by 309 votes.

>> Socialist Kshama Sawant faces recall vote in Seattle

See the results below:

Ballots that have been returned later in Seattle traditionally leaned left. In 2019, Sawant came back from being down on election night to an almost 4% win.

Still at stake is how the city approaches homelessness, police reform, taxation and other pressing issues. Sawant has been pushing for rent control, cutting police funding and expanding taxes on high earners such as Amazon to pay for affordable housing, schools and community services.

The recall question on the ballot cites three charges: a minor campaign finance violation that Sawant acknowledged and for which she paid a fine; her alleged leadership of a protest march to the home of Mayor Jenny Durkan, even though Durkan’s address was protected by a state confidentiality law due to her prior work as a federal prosecutor; and her decision to let a crowd of protesters into City Hall while it was closed due to the pandemic.

If recalled, the remaining council members will appoint a replacement to serve until a special election in November 2022.

The Recall Sawant Campaign Manager, Henry Bridger II, released the following statement Friday:

“The Recall Sawant campaign set out 18 months ago to restore accountability in the District 3 City Council seat. While the ultimate outcome will likely fall short of removing Sawant from office, the results of this election ought to ring out like an alarm to Councilmember Sawant and those dealing in her style of divisive politics.

Our upstart, all volunteer-led campaign, mounted an effort that should make District 3 proud. By collecting thousands of petitions to qualify for the ballot, logging endless volunteer hours, and prioritizing fundraising from District 3 residents, our grassroots effort just delivered the closest margin Sawant has ever seen -- a result equivalent of a 17-point city-wide loss.

While this election may not end with removing Sawant from office, let her narrow escape send a clear message: Seattle voters will not tolerate slash-and-burn politicians who shirk accountability and divide the city.

We are grateful to our volunteers and supporters who worked hard to get us this far. With the calls for accountability so clear, the Recall Campaign will continue working to cure every contested ballot and ensure everyone who voted in this election has their voice heard.”