Tuesday’s early elections results came in big for Lorena González, Teresa Mosqueda, and Zachary DeWolf, as they and others celebrated commanding leads in early returns with their supporters at Optimism Brewing Company.
DeWolf pulled 61 percent of the vote in the District 5 race over opponent Omar Vasquez. González secured 68 percent of votes in her re-election bid for Seattle City Council Position 9 over opponent Pat Murakami. Mosqueda received 62 percent in her campaign for the vacated Position 8 over opponent Jon Grant.
The victories show a trend of increasing diversity in city politics. González, the incumbent, became Seattle’s first Latina/o city councilmember in 2015. Mosqueda also is Latina and is joining a council that has become increasingly diverse in the past two years.
DeWolf, a candidate for Seattle School Board District 5, is a member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe and the first openly gay man to be a member of the school board.
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Diversity was what many in the crowd showed up for on Tuesday at Optimism. Attendee Cindy Domingo said people were there to support communities of color, especially women of color.
“I think this whole election cycle there have been more women of color represented than ever before,” said Domingo, who is chief of staff for King County Councilmember Larry Gossett. “We’ve never seen this sort of uprising before.”
After the election of Donald Trump, women have been becoming more resistant all across the country, Domingo said, citing the Womxn’s March and the recent backlash against powerful men who have been accused of sexual assault and harassment.
“It’s an inspiration,” Domingo said. “And it will inspire others.”
Aretha Basu, Mosqueda’s campaign manager, was on the verge of tears during the announcement of the results.
“In a time like we’re living when women of color are told we can’t do so much it is so important for me to see someone like Teresa winning,” Basu said. “It’s so important to see someone like me in office.”
Mosqueda’s victory over Grant’s showed an increase in support over her campaign. In the primary, she won 31 percent of the vote over Grant’s 26 percent. On Tuesday, she secured her lead, which was more than 23 percentage points over Grant’s.
González was perhaps the most ecstatic about Mosqueda’s win. According to her, she framed her re-election campaign around getting Mosqueda elected and is thrilled to spend the next four years working with her.
“Ladies like us,” González said, “ladies who get shit done, need other ladies who get shit done.”
González said Mosqueda would be one of those women, calling her a champion of women’s rights, workers rights and affordable housing.
“I am so proud of Teresa and all of us as a community and of the movement that we’ve been able to build to push back on this concept that somehow because we have a resume full of accomplishments we still have something to prove,” González said.
This message resonated with many young women in the audience. People cheered loudly, there were shouts of “si se puede,” and one woman nearby gasped at how moved she was by González’s words and how relevant they were to her current situation.
The night was inspiring to many underrepresented communities.
“This victory proves that people understand that it’s not just talking about us but about doing the work so we can be part of making a difference,” DeWolf said.
In the race for Seattle Mayor, Jenny Durkan secured 60 percent of the votes lead over opponent Cary Moon’s 39 percent, and many news organizations have called the race for Durkan, though Moon has not yet conceded and expects the race to pull closer as ballots get counted over the next few days. Either candidate will be Seattle’s first woman mayor since the 1920s.
Mitzi Johanknecht, a major in the King County Sheriff’s Office, had a three percentage point lead over King County Sheriff John Urquhart. The news coverage of the sheriff’s race had been dominated in recent weeks with headlines focusing on sexual harassment claims against Urquhart.
On the Eastside, in the race for Legislative District 45, Democrat Minka Dhingra has an 11 percentage point lead over opponent Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund. Democrats have declared victory in the race, though Englund has not conceded. If Dhingra’s lead holds, that means that Democrats would be the majority party in the Washington State Senate.