Longtime Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin has conceded his seat to challenger Kshama Sawant.
“It has been a privilege to be your representative and I am proud of what we have done together,” Conlin said this afternoon.
Sawant increased her lead today over Conlin and is ahead by 1,640 votes in updated vote totals. She held 50.3 percent of the vote, while Conlin held 49.4 percent.
On Thursday, she led by 1,148.
“We do not at this point see a realistic path to success,” Conlin said. “Certainly I’m surprised and disappointed … I felt that we ran a strong campaign and she obviously ran a stronger one.”
Sawant, who will be the first socialist on the council in recent memory, was carrying only 46.1 percent of the vote on election night, but has steadily gained ground since.
Today she won 56.3 percent of 3,548 votes counted in the race.
Conlin has been on the council for 16 years.
“I hope [Sawant] will serve the people of Seattle effectively during her time in office,” Conlin said.
Fellow City Councilmember Nick Licata, who just won re-election, said of Conlin: “Probably no person more than him has led the green revolution in Seattle’s consciousness.”