ELECTION: ‘Incredible’! exults Joe Nguyen, leading 34th District State Senate race

8:10 PM: In the race to see who will take the State Senate seat from which 34th District Sen. Sharon Nelson (D-Maury Island) is retiring, the first results are in:

Joe Nguyen – 27,440 – 57.4%
Shannon Braddock – 20,373 – 42.6%

8:17 PM: Nguyen has already spoken to his jubilant supporters at Drunky’s Two Shoes in White Center; we’ll add the video when we return to HQ. (ADDED– Here’s his reaction right after the results went public:)

9:24 PM: Braddock’s campaign tells us she will have a statement later.

Nguyen’s presumed victory makes history – he will be the state’s first Vietnamese-American legislator and the 34th District’s first legislator of color. He is the son of refugees, born in White Center, raised in Burien, now living in West Seattle, a manager at Microsoft, father of two, husband of a Highline Public Schools teacher. Personal backgrounds were the main differentiating factors between Nguyen and Braddock in the campaign; on the issues, they were nearly identical, both self-described progressive Democrats.

ADDED WEDNESDAY MIDDAY: This statement from Braddock was sent to an e-mail list of supporters and media:

There’s a common saying that you have to ask a woman seven times before she’ll seriously consider running for office. In my experience, it couldn’t be truer. Growing up I was keenly aware that most elected officials were men, and their support staff were women.

When I was asked to run for the State Senate I knew the sacrifices it would mean for me and my family as a single working mom. It had to be a family discussion. When I asked my two sons what they thought they said “sure.” But when I asked my eleven-year old daughter Kate if I should run she became giddy — jumping up and down clapping her hands. Ever since I announced she’s been talking about how she would like to run for office someday too. These are the types of examples we can set for our young girls when we run.

So thank you.

Thank you for knocking on doors, donating, and calling voters in support of our vision of a better Washington. And lastly, thank you for believing in me. We left it all on the field and, in spite of the outcome, I believe we ran an amazing campaign.

While we may have lost this race, last night was still a decisive win for women’s representation across our country.

We saw a record number of women run for office and get elected this year — including 256 women running for Congress in the General Election and countless more in local elections like ours. While I may not have had many women role models in elected leadership when I was growing up, I’m beyond thankful my daughter will. I wish Joe Nguyen the best as he steps into service for the 34th District as our State Senator.

48 Replies to "ELECTION: 'Incredible'! exults Joe Nguyen, leading 34th District State Senate race"

  • PigeonRidge Ben November 6, 2018 (8:25 pm)

    If the lead holds, Congratulations Joe! 

  • John November 6, 2018 (8:48 pm)

    Joe will be the first person of color to ever represent the 34th District – congratulations! 

  • Jort November 6, 2018 (9:23 pm)

    The choice of post-election party locations (Nguyen, Drunky Two Shoes, White Center vs. Braddock, Admiral Pub, Admiral Neighborhood) says a lot about the communities these candidates care about! Was the Nordstrom Grill not available?

    • WSB November 6, 2018 (9:34 pm)

      In most cases, candidates in district races stick to somewhere in the district for their Election Night events. No Nordstrom anywhere in the 34th. Sometimes it’s a matter of who has room. For the primary, Nguyen was at Ounces in North Delridge, while Braddock was at Pizzeria 22 in Admiral

    • CAM November 6, 2018 (10:46 pm)

      The Admiral Pub is kind of divey, I’m not sure it’s what you’re imagining based on the neighborhood. 

      • Mike November 6, 2018 (11:24 pm)

        I voted for Joe, but this comment by JORT is just… par for the course in a JORT comment. Drunky’s Two Shoes is WAY nicer than Admiral Pub. Congrats Joe, glad you won.  Glad you didn’t have to waste all that money on flyers.   I laughed when I had 3 from Braddock in one day and two were the same exact flyer, total waste.  Maybe we should make a new rule that for every $1 spent on marketing candidates for elections, $1 goes to the food banks in that candidates area.  So they’ll have to really beg the big corporations, special interest groups and PAC’s to ensure they get money they want.

        • Diane November 7, 2018 (1:21 am)

          ha ha, yes; I had already received 8 mailers for Braddock, mostly paid for by PAC’s; then after coming home from celebrating Joe’s big win tonight, there were 5 MORE mailers for Braddock, again mostly paid for by PAC’s; joyous night for us to witness Joe Nguyen’s huge win; congrats to our new Senator

          • SueY November 7, 2018 (9:01 am)

            Oh, no, my husband and I received SEVEN mailers from Braddock.  One had both our names on it, one had just his name.  And the rest were a combination of my married name, my maiden name and both names hyphenated.  That was enough to compel me to vote for Joe Nguyen.

        • DH November 7, 2018 (2:27 am)

          I felt the same way about the flyers but more annoyed. Glad I had already voted for Joe when I got them.  

    • hj November 6, 2018 (10:58 pm)

      Jort, it was a good honest win tonight. There’s no need to cheapen it.

  • Tamsen November 6, 2018 (9:31 pm)

    I don’t agree that they were “nearly identical in their views ” as Joe Nguyen was not supported by PACS or charter schools. And ran a grand roots campaign. 

    • WSB November 6, 2018 (9:43 pm)

      I’m referring to what they said – in the numerous forums we covered, as well as interviews – not to who supported them or contributed to them. – TR

      • Winn November 7, 2018 (8:29 am)

        I’d say Joe was definitely more progressive in his open support for ideas like Medicare for All and the head tax, both of which Braddock was wishy washy about. But yes, they were both self-described “progressives.”

      • el838 November 7, 2018 (11:48 am)

        Shannon didn’t support a capital gains tax or income tax and said she wanted to “work up to rent control” while Joe Nguyen has been supporting all of them from the beginning. Those are huge differences to me. (You can see this on their respective websites under “issues” and at the Fauntleroy Hall debate.)

        • J.R. November 7, 2018 (11:59 am)

          Sorry, that’s just inaccurate. Shannon supports a Capital Gains Tax and said she would support an income tax down the road and said so at every forum. She also said she wanted to repeal the state’s ban on rent control (which is actually a ban on any local regulation affecting rental rates), although she doesn’t support traditional rent control, as in NY or SF. 

          • el838 November 7, 2018 (8:08 pm)

            That’s not what she said in the Fauntleroy debate, in fact she attacked Joe for supporting the Capital Gains Tax. Asking how it and “naming and shaming” would work. So unless she flip-flopped, that’s not supporting the tax. She also said she “doesn’t support traditional rent control”, whereas Joe Nguyen has been fighting for it since day 1, the difference couldn’t be clearer.

  • 1994 November 6, 2018 (10:02 pm)

    Congrats to Joe! And thank goodness your campaign didn’t sent out multiple giant cards!!

    • KM November 6, 2018 (10:23 pm)

      Hear hear!

  • I’mcoveredinbees November 6, 2018 (10:11 pm)

    Really hope Joe holds the lead! Monumental grassroots effort. We are very excited for Joe!

  • Eric1 November 6, 2018 (10:22 pm)

    Well, that is strike two for Ms. Braddock.  Hopefully the voting trend holds. What made me vote for Joe was that at least he has held a real job in his life; as opposed to being a political insider that consulted to or worked on some politician’s staff all her life.  Unfortunately, this means Ms. Braddock will probably run for city clowncil again.  May it be her third strike.  

    • Michelle November 7, 2018 (6:41 am)

      I am curious if she’ll become our version of Rossi…always running for something.

  • Grace November 6, 2018 (10:59 pm)

    SO incredibly excited! Go Joe!!#WeAllWinWithNguyen 

  • Ivan Weiss November 6, 2018 (11:13 pm)

    Whatever else was said about this election during the campaign — including plenty said by me — we won because we outworked the opposition, plain and simple. And nobody worked harder than Joe did. That work ethic will make him a great state Senator.

    • Sydney Poll Calvo November 7, 2018 (7:36 am)

      Hear, hear, Ivan. so true.In the words of the Monkees, “I’m a believer”. Really good to meet you last night. 

  • Diane November 7, 2018 (3:18 am)

    cannot access video of Joe’s “incredible”; tried on my laptop and on my tablet; different systems, different browsers; on both I got error messages

  • Matt Chan November 7, 2018 (6:10 am)

    What a great achievement!  Joe worked hard and ran a very smart campaign.  He used what he had effectively,  When your opponent raised more than twice the amount of campaign money than you did because they take corporate PAC money, you have to be smarter to win!

    • el838 November 7, 2018 (11:55 am)

      More than 3 times! If you include the $130,000 she got in independent expenditures from Charter Schools, she raised over $300,000 to his $80,000. But us out there knocking on local doors is what made the difference, not PAC money!

  • Lynne Meddaugh November 7, 2018 (7:07 am)

    So happy for Joe and the entire Vietnamese-American community!  Can’t wait to see him in office!

  • Azimuth November 7, 2018 (8:28 am)

    I voted for Joe and am pleased he will likely win. However I really hope Shannon doesn’t stop looking for a way to contribute to our political system as she seems to have a lot to offer and for me was an option 1B to Joe’s 1A.

  • Collin Hinshaw November 7, 2018 (8:56 am)

    Congratulations Joe! You campaigned hard, and it paid off! I am thrilled to see someone who truly “gets it” about real 34th district issues, while having great ideas on bigger picture items. I think Joe will provide a much-needed dose of diversity and new solutions for an often underserved community. 

  • Melissa November 7, 2018 (9:09 am)

    I agree that there were big differences between the two candidates.  In particular, corporate PAC money versus a community driven grassroots campaign.  I also agree that Braddock seemed wishy washy on issues and really out of touch of the issues facing those in South Delridge.   

  • ScubaFrog November 7, 2018 (3:40 pm)

    WOOOOOOOO Joe!  PAC money couldn’t buy Shannon her seat.Great hard work, Joe, you deserve the win!

  • Juntion Gal November 7, 2018 (8:30 pm)

    Joe didn’t knock on my door.  Shannon did. Joe didn’t call me .  Shannon did. This West Seattleite only saw hard work from one candidate and it wasn’t Joe Nguyen

    • el838 November 7, 2018 (9:27 pm)

      Emphatically disagree with you, you can see how much each campaign spent on canvassing literature (the pamphlets we handout while doorknocking) and Joe spent 4x as much and went through it much faster. She only ordered 4,000 during the primaries and didn’t reorder until mid-August. Joe Nguyen on the other hand knocked on 20,000 doors, and got tendinitis in his foot doing so, while she wasn’t even out there. It doesn’t suprise me that you were called and visited if you live near your Username, she focused on the richer, whiter North West Seattle/ anywhere with a view, while he made sure to canvass in places that had low voter turn out and had gotten very little political attention. If you visit their Facebook pages, you can see the difference, he’s constantly posing about volunteering events, while she posts mainly photos/ pamphlets of herself and jokes. Joe had to work hard because he was outraised $300,000 to $80,000 (including independent expenditures from Charter Schools), while she could just sent out way to many mailers and put up signs that cost $6 each. The hardworking candidate did win. 

      • DeLancey November 8, 2018 (4:54 pm)

        Alright I’d like to set the record straight here. I’m the campaign manager for Braddock’s race and we used over-runs from mailers for our doorbelling literature. Joe alone did not hit 20k doors, his entire team did. Our team also hit 20k doors we just didn’t go around touting it. I kept a map of the entire district that I colored in with green marker and every single precinct in Burien was doorbelled or phone banked. Shannon and Joe both had full time jobs, multiple children, and volunteer responsibilities while running for office. They both worked their asses off. We had friends, neighbors, and labor union members who showed up every week to knock doors with Shannon. I am immensely proud of all of them, our women-led team, and Shannon for the hard work they put in and attempts to discredit that work are cheap. I’d love to know how many doors you knocked. P.S. I’m sorry you didn’t like the “jokes” on our Facebook page— god forbid our elected officials have a sense of humor. 

        • el838 November 8, 2018 (6:17 pm)

          I’m a volunteer that knocked on over 270 doors (and that’s with a chronic disability), thanks for asking. And yes, Joe was there the entire time. And I knocked an additional 80 for Planned Parenthood. He knocked doors during the week with his family after school (two weeks ago they canvassed around Madison Middle School for example). And he knocked every day during the summer. No candidate has knocked on as many doors in White Center and Burien (knocking is much more different than phonebanking), and the  people I talked to there said Joes the only person they’ve had knock on their door in person. And this is on more than 1/3 of her budget. His campaign was led by people of color, and will actually represent our diverse district. Yes she had a woman-led campaign, but the people who donated to her (Justice for All PAC, Weyerhaeuser, and the logging PAC) supported Susan Hutchison, Dino Rossi and Marco Rubio, the most Anti-Choice people you can find. Why would people who want to control my body support her? P.S. Jokes are fine (Pramila is hilarious) but real information instead of wine jokes is better.

          • DeLancey November 8, 2018 (9:55 pm)

            I’m glad you got involved for a candidate you believe in. As a canvasser then you know that most people don’t answer the door and so even though both candidates have knocked on their door they’re not there to know. Our team knocked on doors in every precinct in Burien. I’m proud of that. And I’m proud that I worked for a woman who is unabashedly pro-choice, pro-capital gains tax, and pro-income tax. You can say and believe what you like, but at the end of the day I know we ran a good campaign, we worked hard, and we fought for progressive policies. And I believe Joe did all the same things and wish him the best. Now that the campaign is over I’m not going to troll around online diminishing the other progressive candidate that lost or won, and I hope you grow to do the same. 

          • Emily S. November 9, 2018 (3:10 pm)

            I really don’t think it’s appropriate to call someone a troll and tell them to grow up just because they disagree with you, especially when you’re a campaign manager. el838 seemed to be be only voicing concerns based on facts, why the negativity?

  • Greg November 7, 2018 (8:53 pm)

    This was a huge win for community as Joe stated – and,  a defeat for political acolytes and the West Seattle Mafia and its Don (DC). I hope this finally puts an end to the practice of rotating in unqualified interns, legislative staff, etc. This feels like emancipation for the 34th!

    • el838 November 8, 2018 (7:29 am)

      Especially when you consider her endorsements. Joe Fitzgibbon campaigned for her, who’s former boss, Sharon Nelson, endorsed her, who’s former boss (and Shannon’s current boss) endorsed and campaigned for her, Dow Constantine. Elaine L. Cody also endorsed her and she gets frequent campaign contributions from Dow, the whole thing is far too incestuous, and not at all democratic.

  • dsa November 7, 2018 (10:51 pm)

    Shannon swamped my mail box with her ads, too well funded.  But I wanted Joe to win as soon as I saw him speak.

  • stephanie November 8, 2018 (10:18 am)

    I went to elementary school with Joe (Hazel Valley) and he was always a smart, kind and friendly kid.  Happy to see that his campaign embodied the values of our community.  Cheers!

  • Char November 8, 2018 (2:33 pm)

    Congratulations, Joe! I know you are the right person to represent our 34th LD! You stood apart and what you will bring to the state legislature is a combination smarts, professional background and a new face.  Glad to have met you and heard your platform!

  • el838 November 9, 2018 (11:11 am)

    Voicing truths, however inconvenient is not “trolling”, and the fact that her campaign manager says so speaks volumes. I would strongly encourage everyone to investigate her PDC page: https://www.pdc.wa.gov/browse/campaign-explorer/candidate?filer_id=BRADS%20%20116&election_year=2018 so you can see what I am talking about. There’s no need for negative remarks here, just trying to have a civil discussion. Prior to this exchange, the negative Facebook ad, and the factually incorrect flyer on voting (he couldn’t vote in Seattle elections as he lived in Burien, and yet the Braddock campaign included them), I too though they both ran good campaigns. Local politics should be about issues and ideals, not attack ads and flooding peoples mailboxes. 

  • Madeleine November 9, 2018 (2:23 pm)

    Why the negativity toward Shannon? It’s truly shocking. It’s not enough that Nguyen won — you have to keep dragging his opponent. Shannon Braddock has tons of knowledge, experience, and class, and I was proud as hell to vote for her. 

  • Michael November 13, 2018 (9:44 am)

    love seeing the west seattle mafia and dem establishment getting taken down a few notches!  elected officials from the 34th have never had the kind of diverse representation on their staffs that the 34th is truly comprised of.                  

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