In December, 2078 the Seattle Metroplex was gearing up for its first ever Special Election held outside of the normal election cycle. The reason for this is because the previous Governor, Kenneth Brackhaven, responded to a new grand jury empanelment by liquidating his assets, packing up and leaving town just before the regularly scheduled November elections. Of course this threw the entire sprawl establishment into chaos. The gubernatorial election was postponed a few months to (Presumably) give the Republican Party time to nominate a new candidate and give the other candidates, and the megacorps, an opportunity to respond to the new political situation.
How We Got Here
So what led to Governor Brackhaven walking away from his life in Seattle and fleeing to a private island in the Caribbean League? The word is that District Attorney Dana Oaks finally got her hands on the hard evidence she needed for a grand jury indictment to stick. Emile Corrigan, the governor’s Chief of Staff, had been collecting documents for years that prove Brackhaven's involvement in hundreds of crimes. He Turned State’s Evidence earlier this year and handed his "insurance policy" over to DA Oaks as part of a plea deal. The charges against Brackhaven primarily include his involvement in the Operation Daybreak Scandal as well as the Parker-Quinn Embezzlement Scandal, the Edmund Jeffries Disappearance, the Sunset Vacations ad-buy scam and the cover-up of the Copycat Mayan Cutter Murders along with another dozen less well-publicized scandals. The history of all these various scandals start way back in 2072 and most have their roots tightly interwoven with Project Freedom and Proposition 23. So if you really want to understand how the entire affair developed, you’ll have to look over the Operation Daybreak / Project Freedom Timeline.
Where Do We Go From Here
The Election - After Brackhaven’s abrupt departure, Seattle descended into a half-year of turmoil. The Commissioner of Public Works, Natoko Munakata was sworn in as interim governor, but she made it clear that she was not interested in a regular term as governor and did not put her name forward as a candidate. The megacorps and other powers-that-be were caught off-guard by Brackhaven’s exit. They were expecting him to maintain the status quo for at least another four years and no one was prepared for his abrupt departure. In fact none or the megacorps (except perhaps Horizon) had even thought to start grooming a successor. The short election cycle also prevented most from vetting the candidates or deciding who their best choice actually was. It also opened the field to some candidates that would never even be on the ballot in a “normal” election year.
So who’s running? Here are the eight candidates, listed according to their standing in the latest December polls.
- Nikola Taul, (Democrat) 19.4% - The high profile, charismatic, Mayor of the Downtown District, She has the name recognition and she’s kept Downtown looking good and feeling safe, which the corps appreciate, but she has also spent a lot of public money, which they don’t.
- Corinne Potter, (Technocrat) 17.2% - Howard Cannon was the surprise Technocratic nominee, that is until he wound up dead on a Snohomish street. After his death, his campaign manager, Corinne Potter, made a heartfelt speech to the city and suddenly his former supporters were pushing for Potter to take his place on the ballot, she did just that. Problem is that some in the shadows say that Corinne Potter doesn’t even exist; that it’s just the current identity of an operative for Horizon’s Dawkins Group. But of course no one can prove any of that.
- Charles Seaver, (Republican) 15.1% - The UCAS Senator from Seattle has the closest thing to a nod from the Megacorps in this election. He’s been a loyal foot soldier for their ambitions in the UCAS congress for years and his campaign demonstrates an energy his senatorial campaigns have never shown. The Draco Foundation, however, has strongly opposed his campaign, without clearly stating the reasons for their opposition.
- Katherine Choi, (Archconservative) 13.4% - The director of the Seattle FBI office has ran a law-and-order campaign that appeals to Seattleites weary over the scandals that plagued the Brackhaven administration. Choi’s elven heritage has gotten her support from the metahuman population of Seattle, but that seems to be offset by certain elements of the Human vote. The megacorps aren’t sure what to think of her - her party’s ideals are good for them, but too much law and order makes them a little nervous.
- Josephine Dzhugashvili, (Independent) 11.6% - On her third run at the governor’s office Josephine feels that bad luck and Brackhaven have kept her from the governorship in the past and now with one of those gone she feels like she has a fresh shot. She’s still running on the same “Seattle for Seattleites” platform that’s turned the Megacorps off in the past so she may not have the clout or the contacts to pull it off this time either.
- Alonso Solis, (New Century Party) 10.3% - He has corp credentials from his years in the upper ranks of Microdeck’s engineering department but his New Century Party platform immediately makes him suspect in the eyes of the Megacorps. Adding the fact that he is an adept working in a technological field makes Alonso the cause of a lot of head scratching.
- Sonya Scholl, (Independent) 9.5% - The three-term mayor of Redmond has been in Seattle politics for over ten years now so she has some name recognition. Because of the rapid campaign pace, with no time for the typical megacorporate maneuvering, Scholl has been able to gather a considerable chunk of the polls. People recognize her name and that fame is getting her some poll votes but most political pundits don’t think she has a chance in hell.
- Vaneesh Ibn Kalanyr, (Independent) 3.5% - When Scholl stepped into the ring, Seattle thought it had its wackiest candidate. Then this guy came along. He’s an unknown, but he’s snagged a chunk of the polls by having a flashy backer, the dragon Kalanyr. It’s only been a year since he became the “Son of Kalanyr” but that doesn’t seem to bother his supporters. His rallies draw in large numbers where he talks about big changes for Seattle in the vaguest possible terms and hordes of dragon worshipers hope to get a glimpse of Kalanyr.
Runoff and Results - Moving ahead a month or two, past the Special Election itself, after all of the votes had been counted, it became clear that no one candidate would have the majority needed to claim the office. Nikola Taul and Corinne Potter were the two candidates with the highest number of votes so a runoff election between the two was scheduled. After several more months of continued campaigning Seattle voters went back to the poles to make their final choice. When the runoff votes were finally counted, Corinne Potter had defeated Nikola Taul, giving Seattle a Technocrat in the Governor's Office.
The dates for the special election are never actually given anywhere and the details on what lead up to it are vague and sketchy so here is my thoughts and the canon information used to come up the above timeline.
- The Complete Trog has a Jackpoint date of 8-17-79 and page 91 talks about the “brand-new” governor, Corinne Potter, winning a run-off election against Nikola Taul. 3-4 months should be about the limit of “brand-new” and another 3-4 months as the outside time for a run-off election
- Cutting Aces doesn’t have a Jackpoint date but 62 years after release is December 2078. Page 24 starts about the “first special election outside of the normal election cycle” set up to replace Brackhaven. (BTW, the normal election for Seattle governor should have been in November 2078.) Page 25 also notes that the DA was handed “the ultimate informant” by some Shadowrunners.
- Tangled Threads (Seattle Box Set) doesn’t have a Jackpoint date either but 62 years after release on this one is April 2078. Page 20 “Seattle Plots” has some runners stumble across a dated video of Edmund Jefferies and Emile Corrigan together the day after Jefferies officially disappeared. The aftermath on page 25 (and the info from Cutting Aces Page 25) leads me to conclude that the video allowed Oaks to turn Corrigan on Brackhaven and give up the dirt on him (the store of "insurance" data outlined in Splintered States). Brackhaven resigns (runs?) and throws Seattle into a “Half year of turmoil”.
- On a side note, Splintered State is dated about 3 years earlier than Tangled Threads (Dietrich’s last dated entry is 2/27/75) so the only way the later events of Tangled Threads can happen is if the two halves of Dietrich’s file never get put together. This is the only outcome that would keep Brackhaven in office for three more years with Emile Corrigan still working for the governor, alive and able to testify. See the Post Splintered States Timeline for my thoughts on alternate outcomes.