December 3, 2013 at 1:54 PM
Turns out, there is a mayor’s school, or at least a crash course, and Seattle mayor-elect Ed Murray plans to attend.
Harvard’s Institute of Politics will hold a three-day session on leadership and policy for more than 20 incoming big-city mayors Wednesday through Friday.
“I’m looking forward to visiting the Kennedy School at Harvard to hear from experts and from those who have some experience in the mayor’s seat,” said Murray in a statement. “I”m also looking forward to meeting and establishing relationships with my fellow mayors-elect who will soon take the mayor’s seat for the first time. It should be a very useful, productive experience.”
The Seminar on Transition and Leadership for Newly-Elected Mayors is co-sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and is held at the Kennedy School of Government. The new mayors will attend sessions including transitioning from campaign to City Hall, finance and administration, jobs and the economy, public safety, education and technology.
The sessions will be led by top academics, policy experts and politicians.
Outgoing mayor Mike McGinn frequently said on the campaign trail in his failed reelection bid that there is no mayor’s school and he had to learn on the job.
December 2, 2013 at 3:40 PM
Two Seattle ballot measures seeking to shake up City Council elections fared quite differently at the polls.
The proposal to elect most councilmembers by geographic districts — Charter Amendment 19 — won big throughout the city.
An analysis of precinct vote returns by The Seattle Times’ Justin Mayo shows the districts measure lost in only five of Seattle’s 952 precincts. The proposal received nearly 66 percent support citywide. The result was a surprising turnaround for Seattle, which had repeatedly rejected similar measures in the past.
Seattle Prop. 1, which would have enacted a public-financing system for City Council candidates, failed narrowly — the ‘no’ side won just 50.4 percent of the vote.
The measure had broad support in many areas, winning more than 60 percent of the vote in Capitol Hill, Wallingford, Fremont, the Central District, Ravenna and the University District.
Its broadest opposition was in West Seattle, Fauntleroy and Magnolia.
The narrow loss means a similar plan could be back on the ballot as early as next year. Rory O’Sullivan, a spokesman for the Prop. 1 campaign said backers are considering all options — including possibly expanding the measure to apply to mayoral contests.
“I think the message we found is that there is a lot of energy behind this issue, a lot of energy to go forward,” O’Sullivan said.
December 2, 2013 at 2:24 PM
Seattle City Councilmember-elect Kshama Sawant piled up big vote advantages in several central city neighborhoods to seal her national-headline-making win over 16-year incumbent Richard Conlin.
Sawant drew 60 percent or higher support from the Central District, Capitol Hill, the International District and Wallingford, according to an analysis of precinct vote returns by The Seattle Times’ Justin Mayo. She also scored more than 55 percent in Rainier Valley, Ballard, Beacon Hill, Fremont and the University District.
Her pattern of support was similar to that of Mayor Mike McGinn, but Sawant was able to stack up more intense support in those neighborhoods. She defeated Conlin 51 to 49 percent citywide.
Conlin’s biggest support (55 percent and higher) came from Seattle’s outer-ring neighborhoods including Laurelhurst, Magnolia, Montlake, Sand Point and West Seattle.
December 2, 2013 at 12:35 PM
Update: 3:40 p.m. – Now with interactive, address-searchable map. Click map image for interactive version. We’ve also posted similar breakdowns for Kshama Sawant’s Seattle City Council win, and for Seattle’s ballot measures on District Elections and Public Campaign Financing
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn lost his bid for reelection with diminished voter support through most of the city.
An analysis of precinct vote returns by the Seattle Times’ Justin Mayo shows a familiar pattern in city politics. Viewed as the marginally more progressive candidate, McGinn carried Seattle’s most liberal inner-core neighborhoods including Capitol Hill, Fremont, Wallingford, the International District and Central District. That’s similar to the electoral base that carried him to victory in 2009.
But Mayor-Elect Ed Murray ate into McGinn’s base even in those neighborhoods. Compared with 2009, McGinn’s support was down everywhere but parts of southeast Seattle.
The sharpest drop was in Capitol Hill, where McGinn’s support tumbled by 8.9 percentage points compared with four years ago. That’s not a huge surprise, as Murray lives on Capitol Hill and represented the 43rd Legislative District for 18 years.
McGinn’s support fell 7.8 percentage points in the University District/Ravenna area and he lost 5 or more percentage points in Ballard, Delridge, Fauntleroy, Lake City, Magnolia, Queen Anne, South Park and West Seattle.
After four years in office, McGinn’s only increased support for his reelection campaign came in the southeast Seattle neighborhoods of Rainier Beach, Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill.
Murray, meanwhile, attracted his strongest support from Seattle’s outer-ring, waterfront-view neighborhoods including Montlake, Magnolia, Laurelhurst, West Seattle and Queen Anne.
Murray ended election night with a double digit lead on McGinn. But the race tightened substantially in later returns. When the election was certified last week, the final result was Murray 51.5 percent, McGinn, 47.5 percent.
November 18, 2013 at 5:28 PM
Bellevue City Council member Kevin Wallace declared victory today in his bid for a second term as challenger Steve Kasner’s prospects faded.
Wallace held a 201-vote lead over Kasner with 33,715 vote-by-mail ballots counted. Wallace had 50.23 percent of the vote to Kasner’s 49.54 — numbers that changed little from earlier counts.
Based on King County Elections ballot return statistics released Sunday night, today’s vote count left only 759 more ballots, many of them challenged because of unverified signatures or other problems.
Wallace said he had not heard from Kasner, for whom victory appeared to be “out of reach.”
“I’m excited to be re-elected and have the opportunity to serve the city for another four years,” Wallace said, “and I look forward to continuing our efforts at finding common ground-solutions for all the people of Bellevue.”
Kasner, a substitute teacher and chair of the East Bellevue Community Council, could not be reached for comment.
November 18, 2013 at 5:11 PM
A ballot measure to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour for hospitality and transportation workers in SeaTac held a 46-vote lead in updated results this afternoon.
SeaTac Proposition 1 held the same lead in previous results released Saturday by King County Elections.
The measure now is ahead 50.39 percent to 49.61 percent.
An additional 118 votes were counted today, cutting the estimated number of votes still to be counted to less than 100.
There is no automatic recount for local ballot measures under state law, but a campaign can pay to have one done.
Votes will continue to be counted until results are certified Nov. 26 by the King County Canvassing Board.
Proposition 1 would create a $15-an-hour minimum wage for roughly 6,300 workers at 72 businesses in and around Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. It also would guarantee paid sick leave and require employers to offer part-time workers additional hours before hiring additional part-timers.
Seattle Times staff reporter Justin Mayo contributed to this post.
November 15, 2013 at 4:44 PM
A voter initiative to establish a $15-an-hour minimum wage for airport-related workers in SeaTac still leads after eight days of vote counting, but the election remains too close to call.
SeaTac Proposition 1 led Friday by 49 votes, down from a 53-vote lead Thursday.
Only 88 additional ballots were counted Friday.
Proposition 1 leads with a total of 2,879 votes, or 50.43 percent to 49.57 percent.
The Nov. 5 ballot measure would create a $15-an-hour minimum wage for an estimated 6,300 hospitality and transportation workers in and around Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. It also guarantees annual increases tied to inflation, paid sick leave and tip protection.
Both supporters and opponents of Prop 1 say a recount is all but certain. While exact figures are unavailable, the number of ballots still to be counted now appears to be fewer than 300.
November 15, 2013 at 4:14 PM
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.”
November 15, 2013 at 1:20 PM
Even with ballots delivered right to their mailboxes, most Washington voters didn’t bother to participate in this year’s election.
Statewide turnout was at 44 percent as of Friday — the lowest in a decade. That could tick up above 45 percent once all the votes are finally counted.
Either way, voter participation this year looks to be at its lowest since 2003, when just 40.5 percent of voters cast ballots, according to data from Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman’s office. Her office had predicted a 51 percent statewide turnout.
Turnout is always down in off-year elections, which occur in odd-numbered years and don’t feature high-profile presidential or congressional contests to attract voter interest. Since 1980, turnout in off-year elections has averaged 51 percent, compared with 79 percent in presidential election years and 62 percent during midterm elections.
Dave Ammons, a spokesman for Wyman’s office, noted that unlike 2012 there were no highly charged issues like marijuana legalization or gay marriage on the ballot. Initiative 522, which would have required labeling of genetically modified foods (GMOs), didn’t draw the same level of interest, despite record spending by the ‘no’ campaign.
“GMO is a pretty abstract notion that required quite a bit of voter research and the Eyman one (Initiative 517) only vaguely interested people,” Ammons said in an email. “The tax advisory votes probably didn’t draw anyone to vote and, indeed, we heard from a lot of confused voters who didn’t understand the process of a nonbinding vote on something that already happened.”
Turnout in King County was about 47 percent as of Friday, with thousands more votes waiting to be counted. It was higher — about 53 percent — in Seattle, where voters decided a contentious mayor’s race.
Turnout was lowest in Yakima County (37.4 percent) and highest in Jefferson County (64.3 percent).
Even with the relatively low numbers, turnout in Seattle, at least, was stellar compared with some other major cities. New York’s mayoral race drew a record low turnout of 24 percent, according to The New York Times. And in Los Angeles, the mayoral runoff election in May drew a record low turnout of just 23.3 percent, according to the Los Angeles Times.
November 14, 2013 at 4:42 PM
For the first time since election night, SeaTac’s minimum-wage proposal padded its lead Thursday.
Proposition 1, which would institute a $15-per-hour minimum wage for airport-related workers, led by 53 votes in an afternoon vote update.
That may not sound like much, but it’s more than the 19-vote lead the measure held Wednesday.
There are now 2,837 votes supporting the measure (50.47 percent) and 2,784 against it (49.53 percent).
On Thursday, the proposal won 62 percent of the 142 counted votes.
Both sides say a recount is all but certain, although it would have to be financed by one of the campaigns.
The new wage would affect roughly 6,300 hospitality and transportation workers in and around Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. It also guarantees annual inflation adjustments, paid sick leave and tip protection.
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