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Seattle’s mayoral election in 2013

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, who was first elected in November 2009, is seeking a second term in 2013. A nonpartisan primary will be held on Aug. 6. The top two finishers will advance to a Nov. 5 general election.

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Seattle mayor’s race: McGinn vs. Murray

SEATTLE — One day after the primary election, the top two vote-getters in the heated Seattle mayor’s race were giving indications Wednesday about the kind of fight they are going to wage this fall.

murrayState Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, who came out on top in the nonpartisan primary election with 30% of the vote, made it clear that he’s going to go after Mayor Mike McGinn hard, a leader he calls “divisive.”

“Can you govern? Can you lead? Can you build those coalitions?,” Murray asked. “I’ve proven I can do that in Olympia, and the mayor has proven he can’t do that in Seattle,” Murray said.

Murray used as an example McGinn’s record on transportation.

“We passed in a Legislature a transportation package that the Seattle voters voted for by 75 percent. The mayor put a transportation package on the ballot and the voters voted against it,” Murray said.

McGinn shot back Wednesday and made clear that he’s going to put Murray’s time in Olympia on trial.

“Here in Seattle, we’ve put more money into education, put more money into human services, put more money into transit, at a time when the state can’t find the wherewithal to address those issues,” McGinn said.

McGinn continues to embrace the label given to him recently by a labor union as “the most progressive mayor in America.”

He’s trying to paint Murray as the establishment candidate, someone who is more tied to the Chamber of Commerce than to regular voters.

“The difference” McGinn said, “is that we’re not just talking about, you know, the few voices from downtown who control where all the resources go, but really listening to everybody in this city and focusing on their needs and being prepared to take a stand on those issues as well.”

Murray scoffs at the idea that he not progressive enough.

“It almost just makes me want to laugh when I hear that I might be ‘too establishment’ — the guy who passed a gay rights bill and a gay marriage bill, somebody who is fairly marginalized in the Legislature for years and people said my issues would never succeed,” Murray said. “When I proposed the largest gas tax in state history, people laughed at me so I hardly think I’m the establishment candidate.”

Additional primary election results show McGinn edged up a bit.  He now has 28% of the vote to Murray’s 30%.

SEATTLE — As more results were released Wednesday, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn inched a little closer to front-runner state Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, in the mayoral primary election, but one thing is clear: It’s going to be McGinn vs. Murray in the November general election.

murrayMurray was winning 30% of the vote to 28% for McGinn; Murray had received 33,585 votes to McGinn’s 30,584 as of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.  McGinn had only 27% of the vote in Tuesday’s initial returns.

The other candidates remained far behind, with Peter Steinbrueck the closet to the front-runners at 16% and City Councilman Bruce Harrell at 15%.

The King County parks levy passed easily.

mcginnSEATTLE — After months of campaigning, the nine candidates vying for the mayor’s seat in Seattle had strong reaction to the early results coming out from the King County Election Office.

With about half of the votes counted, State Senator Ed Murray leads the field with 30 percent of the vote. Current Mayor Mike McGinn is a strong second with 27 percent. In a distant third place, former city council member Peter Steinbrueck received 16 percent of the votes cast. And, current city council member, Bruce Harrell saw 15 percent of the votes in his favor.

With these early results, it appears Murray and McGinn will move on to the November election. At his watch party, Mayor Mike McGinn says his camp will keep fighting.

“I was thinking about four years ago, they were saying how is this neighborhood and environmental activist from Seattle going to win a mayor’s race? Four years later, they’re still asking it but you’re proving them wrong,” McGinn said.

Murray said the results show that the folks of Seattle want a new direction. Murray said, “One thing is clear from today’s results that people of Seattle want new leadership. They’re excited about the possibility of new leadership that’s collaborative.”

It appears former Seattle council member, Peter Steinbrueck will be left out of the election in November but he says it’s not over. Steinbrueck said, “Certainly I’m excited to be in the running. We still have 50 percent of the vote. Ballots that are uncounted yet. We may have to wait this out a couple of say so I’ve got my fingers crossed.”

Current Seattle council member Bruce Harrell seems to be conceding the race after the early results were posted. “Harrell said, “I’m very disappointed, but we ran a great race. I’m surrounded by people who love me and I think our message resonated. Still, the people want change and apparently they want a new mayor.”

SEATTLE — State Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, and Mayor Mike McGinn appear to be headed for a showdown for the mayor’s office in the November general election as they finished 1-2 in the initial primary voting Tuesday night.

The King County parks levy was easily passing, 69-31%.


mcginnWith about 50 percent of the vote counted in the mail-in primary election, Murray had 30 percent , incumbent McGinn got 27%, former City Councilman Peter Steinbrueck got 16 percent and City Councilman Bruce Harrell received 15 percent.

The numbers will be updated at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The top two finishers will face off in the November general election.

Results are not final, but it appears that Murray and McGinn’s substantial lead over the others would likely hold.

You can monitor the King County results here, the Snohomish County results here and the Pierce County results here.

Surely it was on McGinn’s mind that the last two Seattle mayors have lost in the primary. “We’re confident that the later returns are going to look good for us,” McGinn said before the initial results came in. “We’re starting to see a lot of undecideds move our way in the phone banks. We keep close track of the data.”

About half the ballots to be tabulated tonight, because many more came in today and will continue to arrive in the next few days.

Voter turnout was expected to be 33 percent statewide.

Local News

Get your ballot in a dropbox

dropboxKING COUNTY –Tuesday is Primary Day. There are several elections around the Puget Sound and ballots must be in today by 8 p.m. Tuesday night or they don’t count.

If you can’t get your ballot in the mailbox in time today there are a number of drop box locations throughout King and Snohomish counties.

In King County, you can find a list of locations at

If you are voting in Snohomish County and need a drop box, visit

SEATTLE —  It’s the hottest race on the ballot this year — tomorrow’s Primary Election for Seattle Mayor will narrow the field of nine candidates down to two. And all eyes are on the four main contenders.

Mayor Mike McGinn, who is in the political fight of his life, was doing what he knows best on Monday — grassroots campaigning. He sat alongside volunteers and made calls to voters urging them to return their ballots.

McGinn freely acknowledged his rocky first year, but is nonetheless proud of his record.

“This job is an amazing job. It’s a hard job,” McGinn said. “I feel like there’s still more to learn, but I’m definitely a better mayor now than I was four, three years ago — absolutely.”

McGinn has spent the campaign season reminding voters of his accomplishments.

“We’ve added jobs, we’ve balanced the budget, we’ve rebuilt the Rainy Day Fund. We’ve made a deal with the DOJ and we’ve reduced crime at the same time. And we just keep working on what’s important.”

Sen. Ed Murray is McGinn’s most formidable foe. He has more money and more endorsements that any of the others.

“He is divisive,” Murray said of McGinn. “Whether it’s the issue of police accountability or approach to our transportation plan, his relationship with the state, his relationship with the city council. I think we need somebody who can actually reach out and build bridges with those groups.”

While Murray emphasizes style, former city councilmember Peter Steinbrueck has been more aggressive about criticizing McGinn’s actual policies.

“We can do a much better job through better design, better placement of growth, better scale and respect for the neighborhoods, the character and authenticity that make this city great,” he said.  “There’s always a threat that we will lose our city’s soul and our character if we just bulldoze everything.”

Rounding out the field of top contenders is current councilmember Bruce Harrell. He’s focused his campaign on helping the most vulnerable, including seniors and at-risk youth.

“No one’s really aggressively talking about how we solve it,” Harrell said. “You can’t just throw money at it. You have to inspire a group of people to dig down deep and make sure these people are protected and motivated. And I sort of lived that life, that story.”

There are five other candidates in the race:  businessman Charlie Staadecker, IT worker Joey Gray, activist Kate Martin; socialist Mary Martin, and attorney Doug McQuaid.

SEATTLE — The primary election in the heated Seattle mayoral race is next Tuesday, and Mayor Mike McGinn is fighting for his political life as a handful of well-funded challengers try to take him down.

mcginnadMcGinn was a political unknown at this point four years ago, but he was able to beat the odds and unseat an incumbent mayor.  But after a rocky start in office, where he unsuccessfully fought against the Alaskan Way Viaduct tunnel project, McGinn still hasn’t been able to recover in the minds of many voters.

Nine challengers are in the race against him, three of whom, along with the mayor, stand the best chance to make it through the primary:

•Longtime State Sen. Ed Murray

•Former City Councilman Peter Steinbrueck

•City Councilman Bruce Harrell

On Wednesday, McGinn released a TV ad to remind skeptical voters of his record.

“You want to feel safe in your communities,” the mayor said to the camera.  “We’ve gotten police officers out of their cars and onto the streets. We got the lowest crime rate in 30 years.”

Murray, D-Seattle, best known for his recent work in the state Senate to pass gay marriage, calls himself a collaborator.  On the trail he slams McGinn for his handling of police issues.

“The fact that we are a northern city on the West Coast and we’re under a Department of Justice consent decree (with the Seattle Police Department on reforms),” he said at a recent forum, “is just an appalling situation to be in.”

Steinbrueck has the support of many neighborhood groups for what they see as a slow-growth, smart-growth platform.

Steinbrueck also stands out in the field as the lone opponent of the NBA/NHL arena deal.

“Why put a sports arena in the middle of our regional industrial complex that would bring a million more cars to that area,” Steinbrueck said recently to an audience in South Lake Union, “making us less competitive globally, and putting at risk those important living-wage jobs.”

Rounding out the field of top contenders is the often charismatic Harrell.  He says his candidacy is about giving voice to the most disadvantaged in the city.

“I have a background in business, but I have been fighting for social justice all my life,” said Harrell earlier this month.  “I’m asking this city to imagine what can happen if we have that kind of leader.”

The last two mayors were ousted in the primary election.  Seattle voters can therefore be brutal to incumbents.

The other four candidates in the race are businessman Charlie Staadecker, activist Kate Martin, socialist Mary Martin, attorney Doug McQuaid, and independent Joey Gray.

SEATTLE – It’s the region’s biggest political race of the year — the campaign for the next Seattle Mayor. And as the primary election nears — it will take place Aug. 6 — incumbent Mike McGinn finds himself in the political fight of his life as several candidates challenge him from all different directions.

McGinn’s a lawyer, and actually seems to relish facing and debating adversaries. On the campaign trail he continually reminds people of what he faced four years ago as he took office.

“When I started out, deep, deep recession, high unemployment, and we went out and we listened to you,” McGinn said at a recent campaign forum on South Lake Union. “You told us to work on jobs and public safety every day, and employment is up and crime is down to a 30-year low.”

The challenger to McGinn who is raising the most money and getting the most endorsements is Sen. Ed Murray (D-Seattle). Murray has his share of supporters, too — last week former County Executive Ron Sims and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce jumped on his bandwagon.

Murray touts his record of building coalitions in Olympia as a legislator, which he argues, is in contrast to McGinn.

“If you are tied of the politics of attack, if you are tired of the politics of division,” Murray said at a recent appearance, “If you want to find a city where we can show the rest of the state where we can show that progressives can come together and accomplish things, then I think I’m your candidate.”

Another candidate who is getting traction is former city councilmember Peter Steinbrueck. He has become the “neighborhood” candidate, voicing concerns about growth and one of McGinn’s biggest achievements, the deal for an NBA facility in SODO.

“Why put a sports arena in the middle of our regional industrial complex that would bring a million more cars to that area, making us less competitive globally and putting at risk those important living wage jobs?,” Steinbrueck asked at the South Lake Union event.

As the primary approaches, the airwaves are about to get crowded with ads as the race for mayor continues to heat up. This week, current city councilmember Bruce Harrell aired his first commercial taking on the incumbent.

“Our current mayor has failed and fractured this city,” Harrell says in the ad’s opening. “As mayor, I will bring people together.”

Other candidates in the race are businessman Charlie Staedekker, activist Kate Martin, IT worker Joey Gray, socialist candidate Mary Martin and Doug McQuaid.


SEATTLE — Five candidates attended a forum at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in South Lake Union Saturday.

Transportation needs, youth homelessness, future development and police reform were among the topics up for discussion.

“We need a 21st century police force,” said candidate Peter Steinbrueck.

State Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, was one of the three candidates missing from Sunday’s forum. He was called to work in the Legislature’s  special session.