The “I voted” signaling on social media can only mean one thing: Seattleites have cast their ballots for the 2021 primary. For some of the candidates, it has been a long road. Colleen Echohawk announced her bid for mayor in January, just over a month after Mayor Jenny Durkan announced she would not rerun. Perennial candidate GoodSpaceGuy has been on the ballot for over 20 elections before his run for King County executive. For all but two candidates in every race, the campaign ends here. Although some results are clear, none are final. King County Elections is still counting. Election results will be certified, and therefore final, Aug. 15 by 4 p.m. Real Change will continue to update this article online with the results.
Though 15 hopefuls were on the ballot for the open mayoral race, six candidates have garnered media attention and major endorsements: Chief Seattle Club’s former Executive Director Colleen Echohawk, former state Rep. Jessyn Farrell, City Council President Lorena González, former City Council President Bruce Harrell, interim policy director for Teresa Mosqueda and architect Andrew Grant Houston and former Deputy Mayor Casey Sixkiller. Each of these candidates received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, except for Sixkiller who entered the race in May, more recently than the others. As per the results of the Monday ballot drop, Harrell leads with 34.10% and González is next with 32.09%.
King County executive
King County executive, the highest executive power in the county, has long been a sleepy race. Incumbent Dow Constantine has not faced serious competition since 2009 when he overcame Republican Susan Hutchinson, who won the primary with bipartisan endorsements. While the race has one complete newcomer, Johnathon Crines, who works as a security guard, and few perennial candidates Washington voters will recognize, the focus of the race has been challenger state Sen. Joe Nguyen (D-West Seattle). As Constantine and Nguyen are the only candidates with substantial funding and previous experience as an elected official, the primaries are more or less expected to slate these two for the general. The Monday count has 51.97% for Constantine and 32.48% for Nguyen.
City Council position 8
This election year, there are two citywide council seats on the ballot. The other seven positions, which represent districts around the city, will be up for election in two years. Teresa Mosqueda won the seat in 2017 by nearly 20 percentage points. She’s running for re-election against 10 other candidates, all of whom are behind her in campaign fundraising by at least $150,000. Four years ago, Mosqueda won her primary with just over 30% of the vote. This time around, Mosqueda leads with 59.40%. Behind her is Kenneth Wilson with 16.20%.
City Council position 9
Lorena González chose not to run for re-election for the citywide council position and instead pursue the mayoral seat. The open council seat attracted a wide range of candidates with unique messages: from Nikkita Oliver, a known name in Seattle activist circles, to the more moderate co-owner of Fremont Brewing Sara Nelson. Oliver, who was intially 7.4% behind, has surpassed Nelson. Based on the results from Monday, Oliver has 40.15% and Nelson has 39.52% of the vote.
The primary for city attorney will shape Seattle’s criminal justice conversation. Pete Holmes, the city’s longest-tenured elected official, is challenged from both sides. Ann Davison is a Republican endorsed by The Seattle Times, and Nicole Thomas-Kennedy is running an openly prison-abolitionist campaign. Last week, Holmes dug up social media posts his opponents made during the past summer’s resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement and tagged reporters and news outlets. He posted a picture of Davison posing with the Seattle Police Officers Guild president by a Blue Lives Matter flag and a screenshot of a tweet from Thomas-Kennedy that said “Property Destruction is a moral imperative.” On Friday, Thomas-Kennedy, intially in third place, overtook Davison for the top spot. As of the Monday results, Thomas-Kennedy has 36.34% and Davison has 31.71%. Holmes has conceded.
Read more of the Aug. 4-10, 2021 issue.