Teresa Mosqueda celebrates after initial results were heavily in her favor.

Photo by Ryan Murray
Teresa Mosqueda celebrates after initial results were heavily in her favor. Photo by Ryan Murray

 Several progressive and labor-backed candidates in Seattle won commanding victories over their opponents on election night, Nov. 7 at Optimism Brewing on Capitol Hill.

Teresa Mosqueda, labor leader and candidate for Seattle City Council Position 8, took in nearly 40,000 more votes than challenger and housing activist Jon Grant, earning 59.94 percent of the vote by Nov. 15.

“This election shows that to win in Seattle, you must stand with labor,” she said, amid chants of “Teresa.” “We believe women. We believe their stories and we believe in what they can do. When we fight, we win.”

Grant wasn’t ready to concede yet on election night. In a press release from his campaign, Grant said “after results from tonight, all we know for certain is that one way or another, we’re bringing this movement, built by the community for the community, to City Hall.

By Nov. 9, however, Grant had called it. He wished Mosqueda the best, but was frustrated at the city’s seeming swing back from the left.

“It weighs heavily on me that we lost an opportunity to advance an agenda that promised a radical accountability to the most marginalized in our city,” he said in a release. “I truly believe our platform had the potential to reverse the growing income inequality and housing insecurity that has already reached a crisis level.”

Mosqueda served up supporters a Latina-themed night, complete with empanadas, tamales, Reggaeton music and finally a full Mariachi band to celebrate the initial results. She thanked support from labor organizations such as the AFL-CIO and groups like the Seattle Fire Department for their support.

“This election shows that when we work together, commit to protecting the rights of our community and workers, when we unite instead of divide our progressive community – we win. I will continue to fight for the rights of our community, stand up for our health and the local economy, and protect our local environment as your next Seattle City Councilmember.”

Zachary DeWolf, candidate for Seattle Public Schools Board District 5, also had a strong showing with 64.61 percent of the vote. His victory would make him not only the first openly gay school board member in Seattle’s history, but also the youngest. He thanked his husband for putting up with the campaign trail before making a promise to Seattle’s students.

“I’m here to make sure there is high-quality public education for every student, including LGBT students and students of color,” DeWolf said.

He credited a music teacher in Spokane with making him feel important despite his orientation and “feeling invisible.”

Eden Mack and Betty Patu won large victories as well in their races. Patu was an incumbent..

Lorena Gonzalez, incumbent councilmember, won with nearly 70.93 percent of the vote, crushing opponent Pat Murakami.

“I ran my campaign based on the last two years of work protecting our immigrant and refugee neighbors, our brothers and sisters from Trump,” she said. “We want to make this city affordable for everyone who lives here.”

Affordable housing was a major issue for both Mosqueda and Gonzalez on a night where Democrats had major victories across the country.

In the Port of Seattle Commissioner Number 1 position, Ryan Calkins came back from an early deficit to beat John Creighton.

Stephanie Bowman soundly beat Ahmed Abdi for the Port’s Commissioner Number 3 spot, and Peter Steinbrueck took more than 57 percent of the vote over Preeti Shridhar for spot number 4.

Pete Holmes nearly tripled the votes of opponent Scott Lindsay for Seattle City Attorney, leading with 74.92 percent of the vote in a race many has described as contentious.

Challenger Mitzi Johanknecht unseated current King County Sheriff John Urquhart with 56.6 percent of the vote to take over the county’s law enforcement.