An attempt by Amazon to fill the Seattle city council with members more supportive of the company than the current progressive slate was called a chilling development for city government by critics of the move after Tuesday’s election.
Socialist councilor Kshama Sawant, one of the company’s top targets, told The Guardian that her race had been uphill and that the power of a massive corporation like Amazon stacked against her campaign had been difficult to overcome.
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“We have run a historic grassroots campaign, with working people, community members rejecting Amazon and billionaires’ attempt to buy this election, and that doesn’t mean we’re going to win every battle against the billionaires,” said Sawant. “What matters is the political clarity that the billionaires are not on our side and that this is going to be a struggle.”
Seattle is still waiting for the final results in the race—Washington has a mail-in voting system that makes final counts unavailable for days after voting—but as of Wednesday, it looked likely that Sawant and fellow socialist Shaun Scott were headed for defeat against Amazon-backed candidates Egan Orion and Alex Pederson, respectively. Neither Scott nor Sawant had conceded at press time.
Amazon dumped cash into the race via a super PAC, according to Bloomberg:
In a Medium post from November 1, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), whose district includes much of Seattle, said she was unsettled by the company’s involvement in the election.
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