A Socialist candidate and Occupy Seattle activist who had more than a quarter of the vote in her race against state House Speaker Frank Chopp has set her sights on next year’s city elections. Kshama Sawant says she is recruiting a slate of Socialist candidates to run for Seattle City Council and mayor next year.
Though Sawant, a Central Seattle Community College lecturer, lost to Chopp by a lot, she did better than past contenders. Kim Verde, a Republican, lost to the longtime Speaker of the House in 2008 and 2010, each time with about 13 percent of the vote. Tuesday night, Sawant had 27 percent of the vote.
Sawant first filed to run for the Position 1 seat in the 43rd, against state Rep. Jamie Pedersen. She came in second, qualifying for the general. But she ended up coming in second as a write-in candidate for Position 2, aided by The Stranger when it endorsed her as a write-in alternative to Chopp, and then wrote stories about her.
She decided to run against Chopp, and sued successfully to have her party preference, Socialist Alternative, on the ballot.
Sawant will kick off her next political project at City Hall at a post-election forum Thursday night entitled “Where do Progressives Go From Here?” She is a panelist, along with Chopp and Tim Harris, the director of Real Change. The event is at 7 p.m. at the University Temple Methodist Church, 1415-43rd Street NE.
In a statement, Sawant said: “We achieved this election result as an openly Socialist campaign that was largely ignored by the corporate media, with no corporate donations, on a shoe string budget. Occupy gave a voice to working people’s rage at Wall Street, and our campaign gave voice to mass anger at the corporate politicians. It shows the potential to build a powerful left electoral challenge to the two corporate parties.”