Remember CHAZ/CHOP? Voters in Seattle certainly do.
In one of America’s most left-wing cities, three prominent pro-police candidates led big in municipal elections held Tuesday, according to Fox News, all with leads that likely mean they’ll defeat candidates who ran on extreme anti-police platforms.
With the exception of Minneapolis and Portland, Oregon, few cities experienced quite as much turmoil as Seattle, where a multi-block lawless area — known alternately as Capitol Hill Occupied Protest or Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone — sprang up during the city’s George Floyd protests.
While Mayor Jenny Durkan said it was like a “block party” and that “we could have a summer of love,” crimes began to pile up and several shootings — along with the inability of police to reach the victims after they were kept out of the area — finally convinced the city to shut it down, according to Fox News.
On Tuesday, in the first municipal elections since the Floyd protests, several of the key races came down to pro-police candidates against ardent de-funders. As it turns out, the residents of the Emerald City hadn’t forgotten CHOP — or the rest of the tumultuous summer of 2020 — and didn’t have particularly fond memories.
In the mayoral race, former Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell holds a gargantuan lead over his opponent, current Seattle City Council President Lorena González, 65 percent to 35 percent, according to Seattle non-profit journalistic outlet Crosscut.
While late-counted ballots often favor progressive candidates like González in Seattle elections — and Crosscut said that total included “roughly 50% of all ballots cast” — no other Seattle candidate has overcome a deficit that wide once the final tallies are taken.
Harrell has promised to bolster Seattle’s police force, which has seen hundreds of retirements and resignations. González, meanwhile, had initially pledged to slash Seattle’s police budget by 50 percent but later reduced that dire number — although still promising to defund.
In addition, Fox News reported that “Harrell has called for the hiring of more police, including some unarmed officers, as well as the appointment of a cabinet-level position to address rising gun violence in the city.”
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He said that issue struck a chord with Seattle’s voters.
“I’m not a status-quo politician. [Voters] want the homeless issue addressed with a sense of urgency, they want effective policing … biased-free policing, so we feel very good about the results,” Harrell said, according to Fox.
The race for city attorney, meanwhile, had Republican Ann Davison in the lead over self-declared police and jail “abolitionist” Nicole Thomas-Kennedy.
According to the Seattle Times, Davison’s 58 percent to 41 percent lead was “strong,” with the paper saying “returns Tuesday showing voters rejecting the brash language of her police abolitionist opponent, Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, in favor of Davison’s law-and-order stance.”
KING-TV, meanwhile, was willing to call the race for the Republican candidate, despite the possibility of late ballots breaking for the progressive candidate.
So about that brash language. During the summer of 2020, Thomas-Kennedy tweeted she had a “rabid hatred of the police” and that property destruction in protests was a “moral imperative.” She dismissed these tweets as “deliberately inflammatory” and “absurdist satire” — but on a more serious note, she sought to abolish misdemeanor prosecutions in the city.
Meanwhile, the Seattle Times noted Davison’s “perceived transgression for some in liberal Seattle was seen as being as bad as anything her opponent said on social media: She declared herself a Republican in 2020, while President Donald Trump was in the White House.”
We now have a pretty good idea which one Seattleites prefer, and it’s the Republican who’s said that the city attorney’s office is no “place for radical agenda.” Who would have guessed?
In another closely watched race in the city, Sara Nelson was pronounced the winner in Seattle City Council position 9 with 60 percent of the initial vote to Nikkita Oliver’s 40 percent, according to KING.
The race attracted attention, again, because of Oliver’s outlandish views. The attorney, organizer and educator also wanted to cut city police by 50 percent and institute rent control. That, apparently, didn’t go well.
Mind you, the backlash in municipal elections wasn’t limited to Seattle. In Minneapolis, a much-ballyhooed initiative to replace the police with a new agency failed in the city where George Floyd died and the defund-the-police movement began in earnest, according to The Associated Press.
It’s the results from Seattle that were most striking, however.
One year ago, the city seemed to tolerate a lawless encampment set up in the name of social justice. Now, as candidates who represent something akin to the values espoused there are on the ballot, even the city’s notoriously liberal residents have apparently decided that enough’s enough.