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It's Official: Seattle Elects Socialist to City Council

“Our campaign is not an isolated event, it's a bellwether for what's going to happen in the future.”

Common Dreams staff

It's now official: Seattle voters have now elected a socialist and member of the Occupy Seattle movement to the Seattle City Council, favoring a champion of a $15 minimum wage and tax on millionaires over a long-term Democrat incumbent.

Kshama Sawant, a 41-year-old college economics professor and a champion of a $15 minimum wage and tax on millionaires, took a 50.3 percent lead over 16-year incumbent Richard Conlin's 49.4 percent.

Conlin finally conceded on Friday night. Sawant, who trailed on election night November 5, has gained steadily as vote-by-mail ballots are continuing to be counted. “I don’t think socialism necessarily makes most people in Seattle afraid,” Conlin said during his concession statement.

"These exciting results show a majority of voters are fed up with the corporate politicians who have presided over the widening chasm between the super-rich and the rest of us," Sawant said in a statement.

Sawant, who began her political career by challenging and losing to Washington state House Speaker Frank Chopp last year, ran as a proud socialist on a simple platform: a new millionaire’s tax to fund a public transit system, a $15-per-hour minimum wage and rent control for Seattle.

Sawant will join the council in January.

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