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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 4, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 31
Primary election roundup: Seattle will have a woman mayor
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Primary election roundup: Seattle will have a woman mayor

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

For the first time since 1928, Seattle will have a woman Mayor in January 2018. Four women topped the ballot in the race to succeed Ed Murray as Mayor of Seattle.

Leading the pack, and almost certain to make it onto the November ballot is former US Attorney and out Lesbian Jenny Durkan, with almost a third of the votes in a 21-candidate field.

Urban planner Cary Moon is currently leading Queer lawyer, activist, and artist Nikkita Oliver, but by less than 3,000 votes. One of the two will faceoff against Durkan in November. Former State Representative Jessyn Farrell is in fourth place, another 3,000 votes behind Oliver.

Bob Hasegawa, in fifth place - 5,000 votes behind Farrell - is the highest male vote-getter in the race.

Durkan is backed by outgoing Mayor Ed Murray and Murray's Chamber of Commerce allies. Until this spring, Murray was the odds-on favorite to win reelection, but he was forced to drop out following charges that he molested several teens in the mid-1980s.

Organized labor, which was also backing Murray, switched its support to Hasegawa, a former Teamsters leader, and Farrell.

Moon seemingly came from nowhere in her first campaign for public office, getting support mainly from the Stranger and the Urbanist newspapers.

Durkan outspent the field shelling out as much money - over $390,000 - as all the other mayoral candidates combined. Moon spent less than $121,000, and Oliver less than $67,000.

Down-ballot, labor leader Teresa Mosqueda will meet Jon Grant in the November election for an at-large seat on the Seattle City Council, Position 8. Mosqueda is a convincing 8,000 votes ahead of Grant and 11,000 ahead of brewery owner Sarah Nelson.

Charlene Strong won more than 6,000 votes in this race with a low-key campaign, and Gay doctor, spoken word artist, and Muslim Hisam Goueli pulled more than 4,000 in his first try running for office.

In the race for Seattle City Council Position 9, incumbent Lorena Gonzalez crushed the field, coming in more than 54,000 votes ahead of second place candidate Pat Murakami.

Gay community activist Zachary DeWolf leads by more than 5,000 votes for Position 5 on the Seattle School Board. School Board elections are peculiar because the primary elections are by district - DeWolf ran in the Capitol Hill/Central District - but the November election is citywide.

In the race King County Executive, wildly popular incumbent Dow Constantine won more than three-quarters of the vote, coming in almost 200,000 votes ahead of Republican Bill Hirt. Goodspaceguy came in third, beating Stan Lippmann by about 7,000 votes. It was Goodspaceguy's greatest electoral triumph to date.

The last - and only - woman Mayor of Seattle was Bertha Knight Landes, who served from 1926-1928 when the office had only a two-year term.

Landes ran on a reform ticket with backing from the Seattle Central Labor Council and the Prohibition Party. Although she supported police reform and public ownership of the City's street lights and street cars, she lost her bid for reelection after she antagonized local saloon owners by shutting down illegal gambling and speakeasies.

In Landes' day, women's rights groups often opposed drinking establishments as a way of curbing drunken violence against women, and ensuring that the husband's wages would go to support his family rather than buying alcohol.

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