Slow Clap: Seattle Elects its First Socialist in Modern History Staff

11/16/2013 8:30:00 AM - Staff

Wasn’t socialism as an economic and political system utterly discredited during the last century? Nope:

Seattle voters have elected a socialist to city council for the first time in modern history.

Kshama Sawant's lead continued to grow on Friday, prompting 16-year incumbent Richard Conlin to concede.

Even in this liberal city, Sawant's win has surprised many here. Conlin was backed by the city's political establishment. On election night, she trailed by four percentage points. She wasn't a veteran politician, having only run in one previous campaign.

But in the days following election night, Sawant's share of the votes outgrew Conlin's.

"I don't think socialism makes most people in Seattle afraid," Conlin said Friday.

Well, it should, for obvious reasons.