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Our Revolution Hedging its Bets on Progressive Seattle Candidates

The end of June marked a new era for Our Revolution when Nina Turner took over the organization as president. In doing so, she raised some eyebrows when answering The Nation columnist Collier Meyerson’s question on whether or not Our Revolution was interested in endorsing independents:

You know what, yes. We are open to it. And for me, I’ve also heard the senator say this lately too: Let’s put the political affiliation to the side. If there is a Republican or a Libertarian or Green Party person that believes in Medicare for all, then that’s our kind of person. If there’s somebody that believes that Citizens United needs to be overturned, that we need the 28th amendment to the Constitution that declares that money, corporate money, is not speech and that corporations should not have more speech than Mrs. Johnson down the street and Mr. Gonzalez around the corner, then that’s our kind of people.

This sounds great and very similar to how advocates of Brand New Congress describe their organization’s brand/mission.

So Let’s Endorse Some Independents

Some people may have their sights set on 2018 but there are plenty of elections going down in 2017 and Seattle is no exception. The races I’ve been keeping an eye on are Seattle City Council Position 8 and Seattle Mayor because both races include strong independents.

To be endorsed by the national Our Revolution organization a candidate must, according to their website, either be nominated by a local affiliate or, if one doesn’t exist, fill out a questionnaire.

Jon Grant, to his credit, has already been endorsed by local affiliate Our Revolution Ballard but so has his opponent in the race, Sheley Secrest. In other words, the local affiliate offered up a dual endorsement. Yet, Our Revolution national has, thus far, only endorsed the Democrat, Sheley Secrest.

The Seattle Mayoral Election has its own intrigue. The local affiliate has endorsed Bob Hasegawa but the national organization has been mum, even though the primary is right around the corner. Even more intriguing was a remark by KUOW’s David Hyde about a potential Our Revolution endorsement:

Bernie Sanders may endorse a candidate in the Seattle mayor’s race. We can’t confirm who, but Sander’s group Our Revolution tells KUOW that it’s taking a look at Seattle.

Nikkita Oliver, running with The People’s Party, has been garnering a lot of buzz as an independent candidate that could possibly upset the political establishment, as evidenced by a poll in which she demolished the competition. A symbolic gesture such as an endorsement from a national organization could be just what’s needed to get across the finish line. Furthermore, inaction by such an influential group, given that the incumbent is not seeking re-election, further magnifies this missed opportunity.

With ballots being mailed out on July 12th, it seems as though Our Revolution are dragging their feet on this race, unwilling to take a side.

Our Revolution is Missing an Opportunity

Both Nikkita Oliver and Jon Grant garnered a clean sweep of endorsements from Seattle’s local independent parties, namely, Socialist Alternative, Seattle Democratic Socialists of America, and the Green Party of Seattle. If Our Revolution is truly interested in endorsing solid independents fighting for working people than they are truly missing the boat by not endorsing these two candidates.

Check out the candidates for yourself below.

Written by Andre Roberge

Father, Husband. Went to school for philosophy (university of WA) and now I work for a train company -- Interests include Labor Law, TILA, Unions, Paid Family Leave, Healthcare, Philosophy of Science, Fantasy Football and Open Government-- Fanboy of The Take Down with Nick Nowlin and The Way with Anoa. Follow Andre on Twitter @SubvertingPower.

Andre Roberge is a Researcher and Writer for Progressive Army.

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Our Revolution Hedging its Bets on Progressive Seattle Candidates