SEATTLE, Wash. -

A socialist candidate is gaining as more ballots are counted in a close Seattle City Council race.

Kshama Sawant initially trailed incumbent Richard Conlin by more than 6,000 votes, but that has narrowed to about 1,200 votes -- 76,170 to 74,933.

The next count of ballots for elections in King County will be released at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. More mail-in ballots may be counted before election results are certified Nov. 26.

Sawant is a former software engineer and economist who made a proposed $15 an hour minimum wage the centerpiece of her campaign.

Conlin is seeking his fifth term on the city council.

Council races in Seattle are non-partisan but Sawant won a court decision to list her Socialist preference on the November ballot.