You’re bound to have some thoughts on the preliminary election results, so we’ve created an open thread for your commenting leisure. The results from the first drop will be posted to King County Elections’ website at 8:15pm tonight, and we’ll update this thread with the results when it happens. Keep in mind, however, that there are many more ballots left to count, so the closest races likely won’t see clear top-two winners for several more days.

UPDATE 8:22pm- The first drop is in! (only results for endorsed races included):

Seattle Mayor

  • Ed Murray: 30.24%/28,248 votes
  • Mike McGinn: 27.15%/25,364 votes
  • Peter Steinbrueck: 16.26%/15,189 votes
  • Bruce Harrell: 15.48%/14,458 votes

Other races below the jump.

King County Executive

  • Dow Constantine: 75.57%/168,521 votes
  • Alan Lobdell: 12.32%/26,472 votes
  • Everett Stewart: 7.47%/16,658 votes

King County Council 1

  • Rod Dembowski: 69.47%/18,912 votes
  • Alan Lobdell: 24.16%/6,576 votes

King County Council 9

  • Reagan Dunn: 55.5%/13,759 votes
  • Shari Song: 34.83%/8,635 votes

Seattle City Council 2

  • Richard Conlin: 49.16%/41,477 votes
  • Kshama Sawant: 32.97%/27,813 votes

Seattle City Council 8

  • Mike O’Brien: 57.37%/48,253 votes
  • Albert Shen: 35.3%/29,689 votes

Bellevue City Council 4

  • Kevin Wallace: 46.21%/6,821 votes
  • Steve Kasner: 42.21%/6,231 votes

Bellevue City Council 6

  • Lynne Robinson: 48.04%/7,119 votes
  • Vandana Slatter: 26.33%/3,902 votes
  • Don Davidson: 25.37%/3,760 votes

Mukilteo Mayor

  • Joe Marine: 41.15%/1,279 votes
  • Jennifer Gregerson: 31.24%/971 votes
  • Steve Schmalz: 25.84%/803 votes

73 Replies to “2013 Primary Election Night Open Thread”

    1. Well BigDon, for how many other losers have you voted? We’ll need a full accounting. Inquiring minds want to know for whom NOT to vote in the future.

  1. I’m just about to move to Seattle but not in time to vote! Ah well, thanks for the coverage! I would probably prefer McGinn for his efforts on transit.

  2. Yeah. I am an old man. And I voted for McGinn. With the turnout predicted to be so low, it troubles me that so many young, transit-savvy folks choose not to take fifteen or twenty minutes to vote. Easier now than it ever has been.

    I would imagine that the anti-density, anti-transit folks will vote. I hope I am wrong. I hope the young folks turn out. We will see in a few hours.

    1. That is what tends to happen. Voters don’t like this primary since it isn’t the “real deal” in November. Lots of people on vacation or simply don’t care enough/not engaged enough to bother this time of year. Especially when its THIS nice out.

    2. “it troubles me that so many young, transit-savvy folks choose not to take fifteen or twenty minutes to vote”

      I guess they’re not that savvy if they’re too lazy to vote.

      1. I would be upset, but these are the same low information voters who gave us eight years of Uncle Barry and Eyman’s Excesses.

        Is the economy better?

        Are we having better transit?

        Are our schools improving?

        Perhaps we should require voting in the primary as a precondition to voting in the general election. Just a thought.

      2. Everyone should have to pass the citizenship test in order to vote, which should include tests of critical thinking skills and other important skills to have in a democracy. How to do that without being painted as “elitist” I don’t know.

      3. I hold the opposite view: I think that voting should be mandatory. I see non-voting as a much bigger threat to society than uninformed voting.

        Regarding critical thinking skills, that’s why we have a representative democracy, rather than a direct one. And that’s also why I’m highly skeptical of the initiative process, even though it sometimes produces good results.

    3. Myself, it’s easier for me to vote in November because I’m already used to doing work so I can spend time figuring out what various groups endorse and what the issues are, which is more than a “fifteen-twenty minute process”. Part of it is race creep (I don’t know jack about port commissioners, school board members and judges), part of it is that I’m just not that interested in following politics, part of it is Americans in general having such a poor sense of how they should vote.

  3. McGinn did great at 27% vs Murray’s 30%! Looks like he’ll at least get second in the primary, if not first as more votes counted.

    1. It should be an interesting general election (assuming the numbers hold up, which is likely). McGinn will get better numbers, but will still probably get less than Murray. This will make Murray feel pretty good (he is the challenger). On the other hand, McGinn should expect more support in the general. There are a lot of people who probably didn’t bother to vote who are pretty happy with the way things are now (and they may vote in the general).

      1. Murrary was probably hoping McGinn would get knocked out in the primary. The incumbent surviving here (if this holds up) is bad news for Murray, whatever the spread ends up being.

  4. Sometimes conventional wisdom is right. Murray and McGinn, huh, didn’t everyone predict this?

    1. The early returns are fantastic for seat 6 but I did hear that Don Davidson got started late in campaigning. How late, I don’t know, but it’s possible he may have a mini-surge in later returns.

      1. He got started so late that his bio was completely devoid of information in the voter pamphlet. He’s toast.

      2. Seattle Times states that the reason is because of illness. I was unaware of that. So he might regret it, but it might not have been his fault.

      3. Don Davidson is old. And I’m saying that as someone who is old. He is totally out of touch with issues like the “legalization” of marijuana. And he’s a doctor! I am so happy to see Lynne Robinson prevailing over the rich (and counsel endorsed) Ms Slatter I can hardly contain myself. Kasner is a good guy. Winning the election is a long shot. It’s more of a positioning for 2015.

      4. I think vote-by-mail changes the calculus significantly. The fact that Davidson didn’t submit a statement in the voter pamphlet absolutely lost him a chance at my vote. OK, I wasn’t exactly voting for him anyway, but I wouldn’t even consider someone who didn’t bother to submit a statement.

        And I’m sorry, but illness isn’t an excuse. Doesn’t he have a staff, or a spouse, or a friend, or someone who will write a statement for him? Can’t he reuse the one from four (six?) years back? There is a certain expectation of “can get things done” that a council member needs to meet.

    1. Murrary insists he’s strongly pro-transit, I and others may disagree but from the perspective of his supporters the two strong transit candidates are sharing 57% of the votes.

    2. Specious logic. Being strongly pro-transit and being a single-issue voter are entirely different things.

      1. That’s the issue. People support transit but they only understand vaguely what that means. They don’t know much about transit network best practices and the tradeoffs they imply. They don’t understand which specific projects to support to get the outcome they want. (In this case, SDOT installing poles so that Metro can later string wire.) They don’t know when to make noise to whom to support these projects, or even that they need to make noise. They also don’t understand how long the process takes, and that small low-visibility steps may be going forward.

        So when they think better transit, they think “More buses on my route” and “a shiny new subway” and “decreasing congestion so I can drive faster”. They don’t think about how their route needs to be split for the overall network, or how much more they’d be using transit if it were frequent off-peak, or how their opposition to converting regular lanes and parking lanes to transit lanes is making transit more expensive and less reliable than it could be.

      1. Exactly. That is why it will be an interesting race. As a challenger, you are thrilled if the incumbent gets less than 50%. But an incumbent usually does better with higher turnout and there will be a higher turnout in the general election.

        Besides, no one knows where Harrell’s or Steinbrueck’s votes will go, since most of those were probably strong supporters of the individual (in the case of Harrell) and strong supporters of a vision (in Steinbrueck’s case). Neither remaining candidate shares that vision and Harrell probably won’t endorse anyone. My guess (and it is just a guess) is that McGinn will actually do fairly well with Harrell’s voters. My guess is that Harrell did pretty well in the central area (where he grew up and went to school) as well as the south end. McGinn has worked really hard to gain support there as mayor.

  5. I think that if it ends up being McGinn vs. Murray, even if Murray wins we’ll be alright. I don’t think Murray is actively anti-transit, he’s just incompetent.

    1. I wouldn’t go as far as calling Murray incompetent, but I think the results are good for Seattle. Murray has tried hard to win the support of transit supporters on this blog and in general. I don’t think this is fake, either. I think he believes he is as solid a transit supporter as McGinn. Oddly enough, Murray is the guy who wants to stir things up with regards to transit, while McGinn wants to keep plodding along. This is completely the opposite of the stereotype that Murray wants to present. If Murray wins and things fall apart because Murray was too aggressive, then your “incompetent” assessment will look pretty accurate.

    2. It’s not so much about transit getting bad under Murray, but that it won’t improve as quickly, so we’ll end up in ten years in the same situation we are now, and falling behind relative to other cities that are steaming ahead with improvements (e.g., San Francisco is building a central subway and BRT lines, and I assume Sacramento and Phoenix and Dallas aren’t sitting on their laurels).

    1. Simple. These are early returns. A lot of people predicted the early votes would be more conservative. Some folks, including McGinn’s campaign manager, even went so far as to predict that McGinn would be in third or fourth after tonight. This hasn’t happened. So, it is quite possible that the 27% will go up as time goes on.

      The other factor is that there was a really low turnout. Again, a lot of people (including politically savvy folks on this blog and others) thought that would result in Steinbrueck getting into the general election. Political leaning aside, this makes sense. The more passionate voter often votes for the challenger. I’m sure the folks in McGinn’s camp are concerned, but they feel that there are still plenty of people who are pretty happy with the way things are, but didn’t bother to vote this time. There job is to get those people to vote.

    2. I would agree this is actually a terrible result for McGinn. First drawing a field of so many highly qualified challengers and then not even breaking 30% bodes really ill for his chances. Last time we reelected a mayor (Greg Nickels in 2005) he got 57% in the primary. This Mayoral primary is a referendum on McGinn.

      1. Kevin, your political calculus doesn’t make sense. If you draw a field of highly qualified challengers, you would expect a lower return.

      2. If you draw a field of stronger challengers as an incumbent that means that you’re a weak candidate. You can see this primary as a referendum on McGinn. 73% want someone new.

      3. When the Seattle Times called McGinn a weak candidate for his entire term, whether this is true or not, the fact that they said it over and over again made many people believe it.

  6. This Will McAvoy Republican just donated to Jennifer Gregerson tonight. She’s pro-transit, pro-Paine Field and if she wins, I owe her coffee.

    One of the things we’ll be discussing… having a bus circular around Paine Field w/ the four aviation museums and Sounder North. I’m willing to listen.

    It’s going to be a close race but I would like to help in whatever manner I can. On many levels…

  7. Is it time for Ballard transit supporters to ask both mayoral candidates where they stand on grade-separated rail from Ballard to downtown? If you support the incumbent, you can point out on the challenger’s platitudes/lack of a position. If you support the challenger, you can point out if the incumbent wavers on grade-separated or starts extolling the streetcar. I know STB made an endorsement, but asking the horde for their input.

    1. I can point out lots of things about either candidate. You’re asking a more detailed and rather leading question about McGinn, who clearly has championed speeding up the process to construct grade separated rail to Ballard and West Seattle while on the ST Board. However, he supports both grade separated and at grade rail in general. Sen. Murray has not supported increasing the speed at which Seattle gets INTRAcity rail to Ballard, leaving it up to “the region” in his position, effectively supporting holding back rail to Ballard (and West Seattle!) for many years.

      Seattle has almost always taken the lead on pro-transit issues–or nothing happens. Sometimes that means that Seattle doesn’t JUST “work with” the region, but actually “leads” the region.

      1. If the McGinn camp is smart, he will criticize Murray’s position on leaving it up to the region vis-a-vis rail to Ballard and West Seattle for the increasing traffic loads to and from those areas can’t wait for regional process.

    1. Are you new to the area, or have you just started voting? You could read goodspaceguy’s bio in the voter’s guide for every election over the last decade or so. Before the top two primary, he was in the voter’s guide for the general election.

      1. He should change his name to Jobkillingminimumwageguy, because that’s the only thing he talks about anymore. (Sigh.)

  8. I’m just glad this election didn’t end up with Steinbrueck playing the role of an unpopular candidate being a spoiler, with most people splitting their votes between Murray or McGinn.

    That said, I still wish we could do ranked choice/instant-runoff voting to prevent that sort of thing in the first place.

    1. Instant-runoff voting has its flaws as well. Suppose there was a candidate (Nickels, perhaps?) that everyone liked but not as much as the ones they preferred, to the point he gets eliminated in an early round despite beating any of the other candidates one-on-one. Or suppose there’s a massive anti-McGinn movement but the anti-McGinn forces split their votes too many ways, Steinbrueck manages to edge out Murray because of his passionate base, and it turns out anyone not already voting for Steinbrueck avoids him like the plague and would rather see more McGinn, even though any other candidate would have beaten McGinn.

      1. For both your examples, those problems would occur, and be more likely to occur, in the current system as well.

        It mostly sounds like you are saying that instant runoffs don’t guarantee a Condorcet winner (winner that would beat all the others one-on-one), which is absolutely true. However, not all elections have Condorcet winners, and we still have to elect somebody. Furthermore, basically all voting methods that guarantee a Condorcet winner (if one exists) require the voters to rank candidates in order of preference, which is the main thing I wish we could do. How the votes were tallied based on those lists would be up for debate. Regardless, it’d save us the time/money of two elections, and almost certainly be better than what we have now.

      2. In retrospect, with my initial post, I think I was confused as to the difference between “instant runoff” and “instant analysis of voter rank lists” – I should have said the latter.

  9. Steinbrueck got smashed. Hopefully this is the last nail in the coffin of Lesser Seattle.

    Would have liked to see McGinn have higher numbers, but that could possibly change after the next vote dump (today at 4:30pm I believe).

    At the moment I give the edge to Murray, but I don’t think McGinn is out by any means.

    And Murray would not be BAD for transit per se, he’ll just require a lot of educating.

    1. Steinbrueck shot himself in the foot by keeping the narrow anti-density platform. All he was bound to do was win the votes of a bunch of old foggies.

      1. Steinbrueck’s activism against the return of the Sonics didn’t help his cause either.

      2. Often doggedly courting old fogies is a good approach to winning low-turnout elections. And based on talk among my Lake City neighbors, the old fogies were pretty excited about him. So I expected that he’d at least be close, and maybe survive. I’m surprised and pleased by the result.

      3. Courting the native “old fogies” would have worked much better for Lesser Steinbrueck had he run 25 years ago or so. There were more of them alive. Since then, more of them have died off only to be increasingly replaced by transplants who have no interest in turning the clock back on transit or density.

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