Alison Holcomb Will Likely Challenge Kshama Sawant

Alison Holcomb told Seattle Weekly today that she is “seriously considering” taking on Kshama Sawant when district elections commence in Seattle next year.

“A lot of people are talking to me about it, including my family, who have encouraged me to run, and I am seriously considering it,” said Holcomb, the architect and campaign director for Washington’s marijuana legalization Initiative 502.

Born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Holcomb, who is in her mid-40s, said she will make a final decision by this fall on whether she plans to challenge the Socialist councilwoman in the city’s 3rd District, which encompasses Capitol Hill, Madison Park, Broadmore, and much of the Central Area.

Holcomb, criminal justice director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, was seen working the crowd last night at a meeting of 43rd District Democrats, which was attended by House Speaker Frank Chopp and Sawant.

“It was the first time I’d ever seen her in person,” Holcomb said.

Numerous sources, including two council members, business leaders, union officials, and several Democratic political consultants have told the Weekly in recent days that Holcomb will definitely enter the race against Sawant and be a very formidable challenger.

“I have been warned that I can expect [from Sawant and her Socialist Alternative followers] some very aggressive attacks,” Holcomb said during an interview at a downtown coffee shop.

Holcomb, a resident of Capitol Hill, said Sawant is not an effective messenger for the cause of economic inequality, finding alternatives to the city’s regressive tax system, “and our inability to fund education.” She added, “You don’t effect change without a broad coalition, and her rhetoric is all about ‘you are a capitalist pig,’ no matter what the size of your business.”

The mother of a six-year-old son, whose husband owns a small Capitol Hill restaurant-bar, Holcomb said she’s been “kicking the idea around of running for some time.” She said the issues of education funding, police reform and public safety are of particular concerns to her and would be a focal point of her campaign if she runs.

“I’ve been touched by violence,” she said. “My husband’s father was killed twenty years ago, in San Diego, when he was getting money out of an ATM machine.”

Sawant could not be reached for comment this morning. We have left messages with a legislative aide, who said she will try to call us later today.

Click here to read Nina Shapiro’s profile of Holcomb.

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