Voters’ Choice for City Attorney Provides Hope We Can Take Back Seattle

SEATTLE—Did my city put an end to the chaos with last week’s election?

It took an off-year election for Seattle voters to stop the city’s ever-devolving political scene, where anti-police activists routinely gain more power. Voters voted last Tuesday that they are not willing to tolerate socialist and progressive tendencies. 

In three out of the four citywide races in which a more moderate candidate—by Seattle standards—was running, voters handed victories to them. The most closely viewed election was however too close to be comfortable and informative about the perceptions of the electorate.

Nicole Thomas-Kennedy stated that she would abolish both prisons and police. believesProperty destruction is a moral imperative and the criminal justice system has been labeled racist. She admits to a “rabid hatred” of cops, once demanding that police officers “eat covid laced s–t” before quitting their jobs. 

Thomas-Kennedy, who just won a primary of three candidates, was also the top contender for the office as Seattle city attorney. 

Thomas-Kennedy, calling herself an “abolitionist,” ran on a platform of dismantling and abolishing the very office she sought. She vowed not to prosecute most misdemeanor charges, falsely claiming that many of them are merely crimes of poverty where the homeless are punished for stealing a sandwich, so they don’t die of starvation. However, these cases are rarely prosecuted unless they are connected with an assault. Even then, a conviction is not guaranteed. 

The only candidate standing in Thomas-Kennedy’s way was lawyer and arbitrator Ann Davison. But she was the registered Republican in the officially nonpartisan race for city attorney, making that choice seem equally fringe for Seattle’s progressive voter base. 

Ironically, it was the left’s intolerance of the right that caused  Davison to switch parties.

Davison is moderately regarded as well. nonpartisan (she caucused for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and voted for Joe Biden in 2020), making her an ideal fit to lead the Seattle City Attorney’s Office. 

However, her political ideology was a problem. Davison had to abandon conservative media outlets and political figures that could be used to remind the public she is a Republican. 

But this strategy also forced the media to focus on Thomas-Kennedy’s tweets.

Thomas-Kennedy’s Twitter feed offers a terrifying glimpse into the candidate’s worldview. She is not only anti-police but also vehemently. She cheered on Antifa violence, even arson, routinely. It was too much for the voters.

Voters elected Davison to office by a margin of 51.7% to 47.5%This made her the first registered Republican in Seattle to win a nonpartisan race for the city of Seattle in over 30 years. 

Thomas-Kennedy is finally conceded Tuesday morning, in a tweet on Twitter. Analysts said it was nearly impossible for her to overtake Davison’s lead of 4 percentage points, which was down from 17 pointsThe day following the election.

Is this the end result that conservatives (or moderate Democrats?) should be celebrating? Is Seattle’s police defunding and socialist-embracing movement dead? Not even close.

Although it would seem that the election sent a clear signal to local Democrats to moderate ideas, activists from the left are too angry to take any kind of inflection. They’re claiming in louder voices that big business and rich donors bought the election. 

Thomas-Kennedy complained on Twitter that Davison must have “really needed every cent of that $365k in PAC money.” She cited Seattle for Common Sense, a political action committee that ran ads opposing her.

Failed City Council candidate Nikkita Oliver, another “abolitionist” and local activist, also blamedBig money for socialist and progressive losses Oliver, a lawyer, claimed on Twitter that opponents spent nearly a million dollars “twisting our platform, fear mongering & in some instances literally lying.” 

Sympathetic media outlets picked this up. 

“Abolitionist candidates were outspent, swamped by negative ads paid for by corporations buying influence, shunned by legacy media and still didn’t get blown out … in an off-year election. And as more young people get engaged/hit voting age, the shift will happen,” Teen Vogue contributor Gennette Cordova tweeted

Though Cordova calls out “legacy media,” she was silent about her puff pieceThomas-Kennedy Teen Vogue. Cordova was only 26 years old at the time she wrote this article. workingAs a consultant political to the city attorney candidate 

Calling out big-money donors—especially if Amazon money is involved—has rallied the progressive and socialist base in Seattle before. The voters heavily rebuked Amazon’s late pouring of $1.5 million into the 2019 council races; the tech giant also has been citedfor allowing Democrats to be more moderate and reasonable in their campaigns. 

This time around, though, “big business money” hardly poured into campaigns like we saw before with Amazon. Big Labor, however, spent nearly $500,000 on the mayoral campaign. Progressive candidates also ignore their own war chests. Thomas-Kennedy raised more than $425,000, not to mention a dedicated group of local activist evangelists.

Activists are reeling after the defeats in Seattle. They didn’t just lose the race for city attorney, but also the races for mayor and an at-large council seat. They have something to prove. 

Seattle’s activist community is known for resorting to violence when they get upset. Already, their strategy is beginning to take shape.

Socialists as well as progressives are now following the lead of the tired lineWe can see out of Virginia’s races: The Seattle results are a prime example of white supremacy under the influence of former President Donald Trump. 

It’s been shown to be a winning strategy in Seattle’s higher-turnout elections. 

“Seattle’s election showed us moderate dems are far more likely to team up with MAGA’s GOP than unite with the left,” Vice News Senior Producer Dae Shik Kim, also a Seattle activist, claimedFollow us on Twitter. “Should be no surprise after seeing [Sen.] Bernie [Sanders]You will be blocked twice. But here we are.”

There is no significant “MAGA” support in Seattle, of course. Only 8% of Seattle voters support the “MAGA” initiative. supported Trump over Biden last year.

But Seattle Democrats don’t want to be compared to Trump-supporting conservatives. I know these people because I live here. It’s a powerful smear that will be used to chastise and bully the left into submission for the following year. 

We’ve seen these activists are not above property destruction and arson—or violently commandeering a six-block radius of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. 

These activists are angry and will not change their course. They are as stubbornly held to their ideology as they can be, and they will not change their course if they have something to prove. 

There are three things you need to keep an eye on until the midterm elections. They will determine the direction of the city.

1. Kshama Sawant, a socialist firebrand, was the subject of a special recall vote Dec. 7, in her far-left District. Progressives who were upset with Sawant’s divisive rhetoric started the recall effort.

It won’t be easy for recall proponents: They needed only a little over 10,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot, but Sawant receivedMore than twice as many votes were cast in the last election. 

2. Davison has the opportunity to fundamentally alter the office of the city attorney and positively impact the quality of life. Davison will be charged with misdemeanor crimes that are often connected to homelessness or addiction.

Despite the left’s talking points, the current city attorney, Pete Holmes, hasn’t criminalized poverty. His office charges only a handful of suspects, which has created a large offender crisis. Holmes didn’t survive the primary contest with Davison and Thomas-Kennedy.

If Davison takes the crisis seriously on Day One, charging criminals who need to be charged while offering reasonable assistance to those who will do the work to better their lives, Seattle’s quality of life will improve. Residents and visitors alike will feel more secure walking alone at night.

3. Bruce Harrell, the Mayor-elect, is a former council member who could make a significant difference.If Harrell keeps his promise to sweep homeless encampments off our parks, sidewalks and business fronts then the city will be transformed to its former glory. 

Voters have resisted such sweeps despite the fact that tents and other misdemeanors overrun their neighborhoods. Seattle voters will find it hard to fault a mayor for clearing out encampments to make their neighborhoods liveable again. 

Voters will have deep denial to believe that Davison is moving Seattle in the wrong direction by making the area safer. It won’t be easy for either Davison or Harrell to implement their strategies. 

Davison is an independent member of the City Council. However, this panel is still overwhelmingly left-leaning, with a 6-3 lead in that regard. 

Left-leaning council members will do everything they can to stop Harrell’s efforts, including further defunding Seattle Police Department and making it less likely that criminals are arrested. They undoubtedly could stop much of Harrell’s agenda by cutting budgets.

But, even depending on the results of the recall effort, what if the country sees a significant shift away from progressive and socialist ideals not only locally but in Washington’s state Legislature or nationally? Seattle’s council members may be forced to moderate their tone if they want to stay in power. 

The future of Seattle remains in flux; it’s a fluid situation that could change on a dime. Anyone proclaiming that Seattle has freed itself from the grip of progressives and socialists doesn’t know this city or its voters.

But for the first time in a long time, there’s a feeling of hope. This hope can encourage residents to take their city back.

The Daily Signal offers a variety perspectives. Nothing here should be taken to mean that The Heritage Foundation views are represented.

You have an opinion on this article? Please email to share your thoughts. [email protected] and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Include the URL or headline of your article, along with your name and the address of your town or state.