Ciy Councilmember Richard Conlin (right) and challenger Kshama Sawant (left) debate at the Asian Counseling and Referral Service building on October 11.
Ciy Councilmember Richard Conlin (right) and challenger Kshama Sawant (left) debate at the Asian Counseling and Referral Service building on October 11.

On Friday, November 15, Seattle Central Community College economics professor Kshama Sawant officially won the non-partisan race for Seattle City Council Position 2 when her opponent, 16-year incumbent Richard Conlin, formally conceded.

“Unfortunately, it appears that my opponent has received a greater number of votes, and I am formally conceding the election to Ms. Sawant,” Conlin said in a statement Friday. “I hope that she will serve the people of Seattle effectively during her time in office.”

At the time of Conlin’s concession, Sawant had tallied 88,222 votes compared to Conlin’s 86,582 votes.

“These exciting results show a majority of voters are fed up with the corporate politicians who have presided over the widening chasm between the super-rich and the rest of us,” Sawant said in a statement Friday. “The turnaround of the ballot count in my campaign’s favor is a stunning mandate to move ahead with raising Seattle’s minimum wage to $15/hour. A majority of voters cast ballots for my campaign which did not take a dime of corporate money, yet succeeded through grassroots activism.”

Some media outlets had initially counted out Sawant following the first ballot counts after the November 5 election day. Sawant’s campaign held steady and watched the votes slowly overtake Conlin in the ten-day stretch to victory.

Sawant campaigned on establishing a $15/hour minimum wage, creating a “millionaire’s” tax on those earning more than $1 million a year to fund mass transit and education, and improving affordable housing and rent control.

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