This afternoon, King County Elections will certify the November 3 results with Lisa Herbold holding a 30-something-vote lead in the closely contested District 1 race. There will be an automatic manual recount, but don’t expect the margin to change by more than a vote or two at most. KCE pre-inspects ballots, duplicating those it expects might have trouble scanning, and previous recounts have routinely shown little or no change from the first count.
Congratulations to Herbold, and my sympathies to Shannon Braddock for what must be a heartbreaking loss.
Back when Braddock had a comfortable election night lead and it was Kshama Sawant’s D3 race that looked uncomfortably close (she eventually won by 12-plus percent), there was a rush by some pundits and politicos to judge the election cycle as a loss for Sawant and her socialist/labor alliance. But with Herbold replacing her ultra-liberal boss Nick Licata on the council, the current 6-3 split on the council remains intact. At least.
For the question of who really won this cycle will be answered in the new year, when the issue of 12 weeks parental leave for city employees is inevitably again raised before the council. Yesterday, the proposal went down to defeat, with Sawant, Licata, Mike O’Brien, and Bruce Harrell voting for it. Sally Bagshaw, who voted yes in committee, switched her vote to no before the full council. I’ll leave it to others to speculate on her motives.
But next year, four newly elected council members will have the opportunity to weigh in. If the new council approves 12 weeks parental leave, that will indicate a further shift to left left. If the proposal fails by the same 4-5 margin, that will indicate status quo.
Every member of the council thinks of themselves as progressive. The truth will be in their votes.