Early results mixed in most expensive Seattle Council races

November 6, 2019 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) — Early results are in in Seattle City Council races, following an expensive campaign that focused on transit, homelessness and the influence of Amazon in its liberal hometown.

Amazon gave an unprecedented $1.5 million to the political action committee of the Metropolitan Seattle Chamber of Commerce this year in an effort to help elect a slate of candidates seen as more friendly to business interests.

One key target of Amazon’s spending was socialist Council Member Kshama Sawant. Early results showed her trailing challenger Egan Orion, who describes himself as progressive but says more can be accomplished by working with business owners than by demonizing them.

Another key race was between former Council member Heidi Wills, who was endorsed by the chamber’s PAC, and Dan Strauss, an assistant to retiring Council member Sally Bagshaw. Strauss was leading in early returns.

The Amazon spending drew criticism from liberal Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Seven of the nine Council seats are open. Four incumbents declined to seek re-election.

Because of Washington state’s vote-by-mail system final results won’t be known for days.