Seattle City Council incumbent Richard Conlin will face Kshama Sawant, a Seattle Central Community College economics instructor, in the November general election. Incumbent Mike O’Brien will square off against engineering consultant Albert Shen.
Don’t look for an overarching theme in the early returns for the two races. Sawant, a socialist, says she’s challenging Conlin because the four-term incumbent is too conservative for Seattle. Shen says O’Brien, a one-termer, is too close to Mayor Mike McGinn.
David Ishii, the other candidate challenging O’Brien, did not mount a serious campaign. Brian Carver, the other Conlin challenger, raised more in campaign contributions than Sawant, but she touted endorsements from The Stranger, local labor unions, and activists including Real Change director Tim Harris.
Conlin collected 49 percent of the vote to Sawant’s 33 percent and Carver’s 17 percent.
O’Brien won 57 percent to Shen’s 35 percent.
Two other incumbents running this year, Sally Bagshaw and Nick Licata, have only one opponent and didn’t appear on the primary ballot.
The last incumbent council member to lose an election was David Della, unseated by Tim Burgess in 2007.