The Nov. 2 election dealt a resounding defeat for progressives in Seattle, one of America’s most progressive cities. Candidates for mayor, city council and city attorney, who supported defunding the Seattle Police Department, were easily beaten by three centrist candidates who advocated for adding police officers.
Among the winners was Ann Davison, who defeated abolitionist and Democratic candidate Nicole Thomas Kennedy for city attorney. With her win, Davison becomes the first Republican elected in Seattle in 34 years.
“Our rules of law need to matter so businesses can operate and they don’t have workers who feel unsafe at their workplace,” said Davison.
Kennedy Thomas, a public defender, advocated ending the prosecution of misdemeanor crimes. During the race she became best known for her anti-police tweets made during violent protests after the killing of George Floyd. She tweeted about her “rabid hatred for police” and called the people who fired a mortar at the East Precinct and set fire to a youth jail “heroes.”
Homelessness was the other big issue. Nearly 12,000 people are unsheltered in Seattle. The problem has been made worse by the pandemic and, critics say, a city council that did away with navigation teams charged with clearing illegal and dangerous encampments.
Jon Scholes, president of the Downtown Seattle Association, was happy with the election outcome, but now he wants Seattle to reverse course.
“I think you’re going to see results on the streets, in our parks, fewer people in need,” Scholes said. “You’re going to see more police officers out in the neighborhood. You’re going to want to see more small businesses open and thriving.”
Despite the victory for law and order in a city that has seen a spike in murders, the newly elected leaders still face significant obstacles. The city council is considering a proposal to cut $10 million from Seattle police in the outgoing mayor’s budget. Council President Lorena Gonzalez, who was defeated by Bruce Harrell for mayor by 18 points, just offered a budget amendment that would eliminate 101 officer positions. It was defeated, but only narrowly on a 5-4 vote.
Story continues at: People fed up