On the morning of Tuesday, November 17 at Hing Hay Coworks, Tammy Morales conceded the race for the District 2 City Council seat to Councilmember Bruce Harrell.
Morales said she was proud of her campaign. At the time of her concession speech, Harrell was ahead of Morales by only 354 votes. Morales’ grassroots campaign was initially discounted by media when early estimates placed her with only 25 percent of the vote, but ended with almost 50 percent of District 2 votes.
Morales’ campaign had said the District 2 was largely neglected by mainstream media until the end of the race. “The District has been somewhat neglected for years … and I’m very excited about what this campaign was able to do in terms of raising the profile of the different communities and of the issues that are so important here,” Morales said.
She also stressed the need for diverse communities to continue fighting for improvement on major challenges in District 2, highlighting police accountability, housing affordability, tenant protections, gentrification, internet accessibility, and support of small businesses. Speaking about these issues, Morales said: “Here in Seattle we have systems of oppression that push African American families and businesses out our neighborhoods, that keep immigrant families in poverty, that privilege those with economic power and give them undue political influence. I hope you’ll all join me in supporting Councilmember Harrell and other community leaders in the push to shift the balance of power back to working families.”
Morales said she is hopeful that Seattle’s citizens will continue to challenge leaders to be more accountable and responsive to their communities. She challenged Harrell to focus more on the income inequality and racial injustices occurring in District 2 over the course of his next term in office.
When asked whether she would run again, Morales laughed and said, “Right now I’m looking forward to a long Thanksgiving weekend with my family, and I’m sure that I will continue to advocate on behalf of the people of District 2. I haven’t decided yet how that’s going to look and what my energy is going to go into, but you can be sure that I will be pushing for our community.”
Four of the nine council seats now have new members due to the new district voting that implemented for the first time in city elections. Voter turnout for District 2 councilmember voting was almost 40 percent of all registered voters in the area, the lowest voter turnout of all districts.
King County assessor Lloyd Hara lost his position to former aide John Wilson. Hara served three terms unchallenged.
Initiative 122 passed in Seattle with 60 percent of the votes. The initiative will establish “Democracy Vouchers” for all registered voters to create a fairer opportunity for citizens to contribute to campaigns and enhance oversight of election fundraising. Those against the initiative raised issue with funding the vouchers and argued it would lead to a potential increase in corruption.
Statewide, Initiative 1366 narrowly passed. The initiative would decrease the state sales tax unless the legislature allows statewide voting on an amendment to the constitution requiring a two-thirds legislative vote on issues relating to taxes.
Izumi Hansen contributed to this report.
Editor’s note (11/17/15 at 3:19 p.m.): An updated version of this story was added to include details on other race results.