Tammy Morales conceded Tuesday morning in her bid to oust incumbent Seattle City Councilmember Bruce Harrell.
Morales overcame a 36 percentage point deficit in the August primary and came within 354 votes of removing the 8-year councilmember. As the South Seattle Emerald pointed out last week, Morales nearly doubled her level of support among District 2 voters between the primary to the general.
“While we didn’t win the election, I am very proud of the campaign we ran, the coalition we built and of the work we did to bring attention to the issues facing District 2 — housing affordability and tenant protections, support for neighborhood businesses and internet infrastructure, issues of police accountability,” Morales said in a prepared statement.
District 2’s turnout was the lowest of the seven districts in the city, with a 40.2 percent turnout. The city as a whole had a 46.2 percent turnout.
However, Morales said that in the final two months of the campaign, she knocked on many doors in the district, which helped make a difference in her level of name recognition and support, she said.
“Some people said, ‘I’ve lived here 25 years, and I’ve never seen a candidate,’ ” she told the Globalist. “People really connected.”
However, Morales said there was much work to be done still in getting residents in District 2 to be engaged and to vote.
“When people feel disenfranchised, when people feel ignored, they don’t feel engaged,” she said.
Morales she will continue to work with the residents, local businesses and organizations to increase engagement in District 2 and make sure that South Seattle’s concerns are heard at City Hall.
“The thing I heard over and over again is, ‘They don’t listen to us,’ ” Morales said. People in District 2 “have lots of ideas, they feel like no one takes those ideas seriously.”
All Seattle City Council positions were up for election this year after a 2013 initiative that established seven neighborhood-based districts and two city-wide positions. Starting next year the council will have a majority of women (five out of nine) and four out of nine councilmembers are people of color, including the city’s first Latina councilmembers Lorena Gonzales and Debora Juarez, who also is a member of the Blackfeet nation.
In another close council race, Lisa Herbold leads Shannon Braddock by 35 votes in District 1. Braddock had led by a tight margin in early returns on election night.