Elections
Hassan Diis reacts as early election results show councilmember Kshama Sawant trailing behind her District 3 opponent Egan Orion on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, during an election night party at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute in Seattle.
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Hassan Diis reacts as early election results show councilmember Kshama Sawant trailing behind her District 3 opponent Egan Orion on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, during an election night party at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute in Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

It’s election week in Seattle! Your Wednesday update

In the race for the open seat in the Seattle city council's District 7 race, which includes Queen Anne and downtown, the gap between former Seattle police chief Jim Pugel and assistant city attorney Andrew Lewis has narrowed dramatically.

Pugel now leads Lewis by 20 votes. On election night, Pugel led by 203 votes.

[We update our election results when more ballots drop.]

In the race for Seattle City Council's District 3, which includes Capitol Hill, the gap between incumbent socialist Kshama Sawant and challenger Egan Orion remains virtually unchanged.

Orion continues to lead Sawant by about 8 percentage points.

King County voters continue to show support of bringing back affirmative action ... The "approve" vote on Referendum 88 continues to lead by 61 percent.

In most other counties, the REJECT vote has been winning. It's not clear if the latest King County results will change the outcome statewide.

As for the initiative that would lower car tab fees to $30 dollars, the Associated Press has called that race, saying it has passed. It's failing in King County, but the rest of the state has carried it forward.

King County is preparing to challenge its constitutionality in court, and Seattle officials say they also hope to block it from taking effect.

There are 277,000 ballots left to count in King County.

Roughly 360,000 ballots have been counted so far.

Ben Anderstone, a political consultant, said Seattle doesn’t appear to be ditching its progressive council.

"We've known for a while now that voters in Seattle are frustrated with the city's spending rate and prioritization on the homelessness crisis,” Anderstone said. “But I think last night shows that at the same time, despite this frustration, they're not necessarily turning to a more moderate direction on that.

“And they're certainly not turning to a hardcore law and order direction on those issues either."

Homelessness advocates have told us that they don’t see signals of a huge change in policy.

They also said that, while the city council has become a lightning rod, that body does not act in a silo to drive the policy direction on homelessness. They work with the mayor, the county and other stakeholders.