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Seattle Mayoral Race Down to Two As Late Ballots Are Counted

August 4, 2021 by Dan McCue

In Seattle, where votes are still being counted, former City Council member Bruce Harrell leads a total of 15 candidates with 38% of the vote, while City Council President M. Lorena González has 28% and Colleen Echohawk and Jessyn Farrell both finished with 8% of the vote.

Outgoing Mayor Jenny Durkan, who was heavily criticized over her handling of protests in the city last summer, chose not to seek a second term and said she instead wanted to spend her final months in office focusing on the city’s pandemic response.

Bruce Harrell (left) and M. Lorena González (Right) (Photos via Twitter)

Despite her absence from the race, issues drawn into the spotlight by last year’s Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, among them homelessness, policing, and civil rights, were front and center during the run up to the primary.

Fifteen candidates in all sought to advance in Tuesday’s contest to the November election. Seattle’s elections are nonpartisan, and the top two-vote getters — currently Harell and González — now appear almost certain to face off in the general election.

“The city is now redefining itself, what it’s going to be,” said Harrell, the more moderate of the frontrunners, on Tuesday. “And I truly believe that the decisions that will be made next year, in 2022, will define it for years to come. And that’s what we’re going to focus on: what the city is going to be.”

As late ballots are counted in the coming days, the margin between the two will likely narrow, as it has in past Seattle elections.

And if history is any guide, those subsequent ballots will favor the more progressive of the two candidates, in this case González.

“We are done biting around the edges,” she told supporters last night. “It is time for a mayor who is going to center on working people and our issues at City Hall and that is what tonight represents.”

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