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The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

August 6, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Primary election night round-up: Seattle mayor’s race headlines initial count with few surprises

Compiled from staff reports

State Sen. Ed Murray and incumbent Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn emerged from a crowded primary field Tuesday and appear headed for a General Election showdown come November.

Seattle’s mayoral frontrunners headlined a primary election ballot in King County with few surprises after initial ballot counts Tuesday.

Murray, who garnered more than 30 percent of Tuesday’s counts, is leading McGinn by nearly three percentage points with still about half of all votes to be tallied.

Murray, speaking to supporters at the Crocodile Cafe late Tuesday, said the real race had only just begun.

“One thing is clear from today’s results: The people of Seattle want new leadership,” he said.

Earlier Tuesday, McGinn’s campaign downplayed expectations for Tuesday night’s counts, saying they expected McGinn to surge during subsequent vote counts later in the week.

At a Capitol Hill sports bar Tuesday night, McGinn backers chanted “four more years” as the results flashed across TV screens and smartphones.

McGinn took the stage and declared, “Four years ago people asked how this activist got elected. They’re still asking.”

“I’m proud of what I’ve stood for,” McGinn said, citing his support for the environment and for standing up for low-wage workers. “We’re going to run a hell of a race.”

Former City Councilman Peter Steinbrueck was running a distant third Tuesday, with about 16 percent of the vote, though he refused to concede.  City Councilman Bruce Harrell was in fourth place with less than 16 percent. Saying he was “sad and disappointed” with the results, Harrell had all but conceded the race.

In other city contests Tuesday, incumbent Seattle Councilman Richard Conlin, 65, was headed to the November ballot along with socialist Kshama Sawant, 40; and Chamber of Commerce-endorsed Albert Shen, 46, will face incumbent Sierra Club activist Mike O’Brien, 45.

In Seattle’s school board races, Suzanne Dale Estey and Sue Peters were leading after Tuesday’s returns,  setting up what promises to be a hard-fought general election campaign.

Dale Estey, a government-relations and public-affairs consultant, had nearly 48 percent of the votes counted.  Peters, a freelance writer and education activist, was second with 41 percent.

About 900 votes separated the two candidates in District 4, which covers Queen Anne, Magnolia and part of Ballard.

In the race for Port of Seattle commission, appointed Commissioner Stephanie Bowman jumped to a commanding lead in her bid for a full term, winning nearly two-thirds of the vote in a three-way race.

Bowman took 65.9 percent of Tuesday’s returns. Michael Wolfe came in second with 18.5 percent, while Andrew Pilloud trailed with 14.9 percent.


King County voters were easily supporting a parks levy with nearly 70 percent approval of ballots counted Tuesday.

The six year levy, which increases property taxes by 18.77-cents per $1,000 of assessed property value over the last parks levy, is expected to bring in about $396 million that will be used to maintain and expand trails, recreational facilities and open space.

Incumbent King County Executive Dow Constantine breezed through Tuesday’s primary election with 76 percent of the vote. Civil engineer Alan Lobdell was leading the  race for second place with 12 percent of the vote, while Metro Transit bus driver Everett Stewart had 7 percent and businessman Goodspaceguy 4 percent.

In the county’s Council races, District 1 incumbent Rod Dembowski will go up against public-health professional Naomi Wilson in the fall.

Meantime, District 9 incumbent Reagan Dunn, who lost the state Attorney General’s race to former King Co. Councilman Bob Ferguson last year, held a strong lead with 56 percent of the vote Tuesday.  Dunn likely will face challenger Shari Song, who tallied 35 percent of Tuesday’s ballot couts.


In Bellevue city contests, Lynne Robinson took a huge lead in Tuesday results over longtime Bellevue City Councilmember Don Davidson and big-spending candidate Vandana Slatter in a three-way council race.

Slatter, a political newcomer, held a narrow lead over Davidson, whose campaign suffered from a slow start because of illness.

Robinson, chair of the Bellevue Parks Board, won 48 percent of the vote, followed by Slatter with 26 percent and Davidson with 25 percent.

In the other City Council primary, incumbent Kevin Wallace and East Bellevue Community Council Chair Steve Kasner cruised to decisive victories over poorly funded candidates Bill Hirt and Jeffrey Talada.


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