After the first ballot results drop, it is unclear which two candidates will face off in a variety of races. For the races in which we endorsed (STB Favorites in bold):

Seattle Mayor

Jenny Durkan 27,579 31.60%
Cary Moon 13,583 15.56%
Nikkita Oliver 12,126 13.90%
Jessyn Farrell 10,308 11.81%
Bob Hasegawa 7,526 8.62%
Mike McGinn 6,247 7.16%

Durkan is in. It’s too early to rule out Oliver or Farrell to overtake Moon. For all other races, our preferred candidate is in excellent position for the general.

Seattle Council, Position 8

Teresa Mosqueda 24,907 30.8%
Jon Grant 19,640 24.29%
Sara Nelson 18,704 23.13%

Seattle Council, Position 9

Lorena Gonzalez 49,591 61.39%
Pat Murakami 16,019 19.83%
David Preston 8,152 10.09%

Senate, 45th District

Manka Dhingra 11,928 50.51%
Jinyoung Lee Englund 10,052 42.57%

King County Executive

Dow Constantine 163,154 74.45%
Bill Hirt 30,817 14.06%

Auburn Mayor

Nancy Backus 3,143 50.92%
Largo Wales 2,629 42.59%

Kirkland Council, Position 7

Jon Pascal 7,237 69.33%
Uzma Butte 2,095 20.07%

Redmond Council, Position 7

Jeralee Anderson 3,152 57.88%
Jason Antonelli 1,520 27.91%

65 Replies to “Mayoral Race Uncertain; Most Others Clear”

  1. So glad I live in Des Moines. I have candidates that represent me. I am still upset no one decent challenge the King County Executive for the City of Seattle Dow Constantine. I voted “NONE OF THE ABOVE” for that race and two of the Port of Seattle races.

      1. Des Moines Washington. I live in Des Moines Washington. You know part of South King County. Right next to Kent.

      2. The Des Moines with an s.

        “Right next to Kent.”

        That’s hilarious. Send it to Almost Live.

        I live in Seattle, and I’m glad I have candidates and current councilmembers who represent me. I’d hate to live in Tukwila where City Hall is in a transit-hostile location. And yesterday I was looking at the suburban farmers’ markets list and noticed that Bellevue’s and Shoreline’s are in locations that are on the lowest-frequency coverage route or rather far from a bus stop. Not to mention how you’d get to them from most parfs of their own city. I’m glad I don’t live in a city that has that kind of car-dependent priorities.

    1. If I am consider outside the cultural and political mainstream of Seattle then I wear that proudly. Like a badge of honor. Of course since one of the acceptable items of Seattle is to treat people outside the city who dare to disagree, like the majority of Des Moines and Kent residents who want the I5 stop and not the 99 stop, like they are stupid. Like here on this blog for example.

      1. “The I-5 stop and not the 99 stop”. So, you like the “massage” parlors and used car lots on 99, then through your otherwise really nice little city? OK, then, you got what you wanted. Enjoy.

        So far as Kenters — “Kentians”? “Kentites”? — they are getting the “99 stop”. And, if the folks who run that city are successful, they’ll have a second “downtown” spinning tax revenue in “West Kent”. Perhaps some Des Moinesans — “Des Monians”? “DeMons”? — can find work there.

        By the way, there’s no “main clause” in your sentence which begins “Of course since…”. “Since” is normally followed by some declarative statement or threat. Your sentence should read something like, “Since one of the acceptable … like they are stupid, some action taken by somebody else.”

        Alas, in this instance there is a lack. A lack, that is, of a completed thought. This may be indicative.

        And it’s “the Puget Sound region”, not just Seattle, though Seattle is obviously the clearest exemplar. Do you really think that Washington State would consistently elect Democratic statewide officers and US Senators if the majority of folks around Puget Sound agreed with you?

        Not likely.

        P.S. Go Manka!

      2. …because the people who live “outside the cultural and political mainstream of Seattle” are so accepting of us city slickers and our curious ways?

      3. RennDawg-
        It would be most productive to discuss our differing visions for our cities, metropolitan area, and country. I have my ideas, you have yours, urbanists have theirs, the Des Moines government has its. What do you and the Des Moines government want Des Moines to be like in the future, what shoud we be working toward? My goal is lowrise walkable mixed-use all along 99, trunk transit that’s close enough to non-drivers, and frequent local transit especailly the neglected east-west corridors. What does Des Moines want? It has offered a token mixed-use lot but other than that has focused more on what it doesn’t want. Does it want everything to stay the same? Then it really needs to address the question of where newcomers and graduates will live; how they fan find housing when houses cost $300K, $700K, and over a million; and whether cars can really scale in a metropolis of four million and whether it’s right to force people into driving because places like Des Moines make it so hard to do anything else. The frustration many Seattlites feel is that even the closest neigboring cities — Burien and Shoreline — mostly ignore these issues, as if their current residents are saying, “I’ve got mine; screw everybody else.” But that’s no way to plan a metropolis that works for everybody. It works for the lucky incumbents who bought houses thirty years ago and don’t mind driving everywhere and can afford to.

        And most people realize that intelligence and culture don’t stop at the city boundary, and that many people and places in Seattle and the suburbs are so similar they’re indistinguishable. But when you look at these issues of land use and transit, there is a sharp border: the average opinion shifts 10 or 20 points judging from the actions of the city councils and voters. Seattle is upzoning and expanding all its urban villages, and is at least discussing the possibility of relaxing single-family zones. What other city is doing anything even remotely like that? Most other cities will upzone only downtown or an undesired industrial space, but single-family areas are sacred and off-limits, and they’re still leery of anything more than 2-4 stories.

    2. I like Dow, but I think it would have been healthier if there had been a real candidate opposing him. Aside from some non-controversial positions like Fire commissioner, it always concerns me when I see local government reps running unopposed.

    3. I can’t say I disagree with Matt Renner. Sure, I probably disagree with him on most other things, but this I can agree with him on. I’m so sorry that I chose a career that doesn’t afford me the ability to fork over $1 million for a two bedroom home in Seattle. But, I simply can’t. I work hard, got priced out about a decade ago when I was entry level and paying off student loans, and now that I can afford homeownership, Amazon and Vulcan turned Seattle into a haven for millionaires and a place that working people can’t afford. I, too, want South King representation in the office of County Executive. I am proud that the Chair of King County Democrats hails from Kent, not Seattle or Bellevue, because he can actually identify candidates who identify with actual working people, not overpaid execs, aging baby boomers with legacy homes, and overpaid programmers.

      Dow will probably be adequate for County Exec (good enough, but not great), but it would have been nice to have a working class candidate who identifies with labor, as Ron Sims did, back in the day.

      I wonder how hard Dow will press Metro for improved transit south of Burien & Renton. I sure hope he pushes hard, because this is where the non-programmer sub-$250k-salary working folks forced to commute to jobs in Seattle & Bellevue are too often stuck living. Seattle already has good transit. Good, reliable, local transit is needed in Des Moines, Kent, Covington, Maple Valley, Auburn, Pacific, Edgewood, and Federal Way. Most of my neighbors commute to downtown Seattle or downtown Bellevue. I live walking distance to the King-Pierce County line. Why we don’t have a reliable local bus route is beyond me.

      1. When I wait an hour for a bus back from the beach, or sit in interminable traffic on the 44… no, Seattle does not have good local transit, or even adequate.

        Not to fault South King County; it doesn’t have it either.

      2. It’s not a matter of pressing Metro, it’s a matter of service hours and taxes. The existing sales tax and fares buy a certain amount of service hours. South King County and the individual cities have a percent of those hours based on tradition. The percentages may or may not be fair but they’re established. (Historically under the 40/40/20 rule the suburbs got disproportionately more hours, especially the Eastside, and when it was abolished in 2014 the existing hours were fossilized.) King County rejected the last two countywide tax increases that would have increased service and preserved it during the recession. After that Seattle passed two measures — Prop 1 and Move Seattle — to increase bus service and build more RapidRide corridors based on the city’s transit master plan. Also the Seattle city council put in money to keep the night owls running when they were deleted countywide. The other cities can also buy extra bus service if they want, but to my knowledge none have done so. Unless another countywide measure passes, that’s the only way to get more bus service and more reliability.

        Seattle, Bellevue, and Marysville have very good transit master plans showing what their goals are. That is the place to start if your city doesn’t have one. Meanwhile Metro has made its own 2025 and 2040 plans to complement ST2 and ST3. In south King County you will notice at least four new RapidRide lines covering areas served by the 164, 166, 169, 180, and 181; other 15-minute frequent routes around them; half-hourly Express routes; and new half-hourly local service to Lakeland Heights and south Federal Way and the adjacent parts of Pierce County. Is this the kind of service you want? If not, how would you change it?

        But this plan will require additional funding to realize. It will require a countywide tax or cities’ funding for the capital projects and operating costs. There is a countywide tax in preparation which may be ready for a vote next year. It would fund highways and transit, although the exact transit component is unknown at this point. Tt could fund the capital projects on Metro’s list, if citizens tell their leaders loudly that they want it to do so. So south King County residents — some of whom are the biggest proponents of the highway portion, for the Maple Valley Highway and Black Diamond roads — could also make sure it has a good transit component.

      3. Mike Orr, thanks for the feedback. Currently to my knowledge, Auburn is “buying” a bus by partially funding 497 in a joint venture with ST, Metro, and PT. I’m sure other cities are doing similar token service, but it’s too little. We absolutely need to pass a countywide transit levy, as Seattle has, and, as so many other have pointed out, we need to see serious upzoning in the I-5 and 167 corridors to make transit more feasible, to build that critical mass, and to prevent people from moving even further south and east. We need to be vocal as constituents, something which I have seen as nonexistent at the City Council meetings I’ve attended. The other tough part about increasing taxes in south King is that it disproportionately impacts those people who are already having a hard time getting by. Buying bus hours that might benefit them 5 years down the road just isn’t good enough for a lot of people when they know it is going to hit their car tab fee or their county tax bill next year, and they are still stuck driving everywhere. I’ll certainly vote for it, but getting the steelworker across the street who works for a mill in Seattle now, worked for a mill in Everett last year, and has no idea where he’ll be working next year is a bit more difficult. Just like we have a trip commute reduction program in our region, I’d like to see a program that taxes businesses based on how far their employees commute. That would be motivation enough for companies like my former employer to relocate to a suburb where most of their employees live, rather than where it has become socially acceptable for a business of their type and size to set up shop. All just thoughts. I’ll continue to be vocal.

      4. re Orr, 8/2, 6:47 p.m. Since the end of subareas for King County, there has been one vote (not two), the April 2014 TBD that would have spent 40 percent of the funds on general transportation through the 39 cities and the unincorporated roads fund and 60 percent to buy Metro service. The turnout was very low. Metro has used all of its allocated local subsidy. In the statewide package, CT got an additional three-tenths. The 40/40/20 subarea rule controlled the allocation of NEW service hours. The existing service hours are still about 60 percent in Seattle. The other two subarea rules were about 50/50 routes and the redeployment of hours after restructures. All three rules are gone; the service guidelines were adopted in 2011 (not 2014). There are several South King County routes that have less service than the service guidelines suggest. Reliability can also be achieved through city action; note the improvement in the Aurora corridor through Shoreline actions. Kenmore and Bothell have made significant investments to move transit better. Suburban cities assisted RapidRide lines A, B, and F.

      5. I recall two failed Metro county referendums since 2008. There was a long string of hearings and restructures and votes between 2012 and 2016 so I don’t remember when exactly those votes fit into that. The first vote may have been before the recession when oil prices were high, or in 2011. In 2012 RapidRide C and D started, and 2012 the state gave the county a special authority to levy a 2-year temporary tax without a public vote. The county did so, and simultaneously abolished the 40/40/20 rule, eliminated the Ride Free Area, and I think it adopted the new Service Guidelines at the same time. In 2014 the temporary tax expired and there was another countywide vote to forestall the recession cuts but it failed. That led to Seattle’s successful Prop 1 in 2016. Does that match your recollection?

        The 40/40/20 formula covered expansions; i.e., new service hours. It said that 40% must be allocated to East King, 40% to South King, and 20% to Seattle. There was a different formula for contractions; i.e., cuts. Something like 60/30/10? I just remember the first number was larger (Seattle) and the last number was smaller (one of the other two). Both of those formulas were abolished together.

        I don’t know what you mean about redeployment after restructures. Metro’s restructures always seem to keep the hours in the same subarea or city or Seattle district. So if southeast Seattle loses something in a restructure, it gets something else to compensate, and hours aren’t shifted from one district to another. (However, the issue is whether the hours benefit the district, not whether they’re physically in it. Express buses to downtown or the U-District benefit the other end of the route.)

  2. My thoughts on the Seattle votes:

    Is Durkan really “bad” in the collective wisdom of the board, or just “less preferred” to other candidates? Didn’t really see much in the mayor primary post that was negative about her, just that she didn’t have a lot of transit experience.

    Moon may have an insurmountable grip on 2nd place, given the fragmentation of the field. Really can’t see Farrell moving from 4th to 2nd.

    McGinn got crushed. In that early, early poll he was far ahead of everyone else.

    Seattle Council #8 is hardly locked up. Like the mayor’s race, there are lots of votes up for grabs from the eliminated candidates.

    1. Hi Alex,

      Jenny Durkan has no track record on transit and land use, and hasn’t exhibited a previously hidden deep command of these issues. It’s therefore hard to say what a Jenny Durkan administration would do, though there are no glaring red flags, as there were with Bob Hasegawa.

      Seattle Council #8: it is hard to imagine Sara Nelson voters turning around and supporting Jon Grant, and vice versa.

    2. It doesn’t look like anybody would be bad except Hasegawa or Tsimerman. And in the podcast it sounded like even if some of the others are less knowlegeable or experienced, there’s a chance they might end up with a reasonable policy. There seems to have been a paradigm shift in the last election cycle: urbanists/transit supporters got in even in single-family north Seattle, and nimbys who previously would have had a decisive advantage are out. That doesn’t mean things are perfect yet with never a setback, but it shows the average has moved in our favor. It’s partly because the cries of pro-housing advocates are being heard. Yesterday there was an article about skinny towers downtown, and one planned residential building that was in danger of getting canceled over desires to increase the tower-spacing, but it was saved due to pro-housing advocates saying “We need housing so that people have a place to live and rents don’t spike as far.” The latest plan is to encourage (not require) wider tower spacing in return for more height concessions and a greater floor-area ratio (taller skinnier buildings). So that’s one way pro-housing advocates are succeeding in policy, and are also having reasonable luck in the primary races.

    3. Durkan really seems like the continuity candidate for the Murray administration, so whether she’s ‘bad’ or ‘good’ probably really depends on if you think Murray was a good candidate for transit and land use.

      1. “In 2012, Durkan’s office led an investigation of several people jailed for refusing to testify about vandalism during May Day protests. Federal investigators attempted to compel four people not present at the protests to testify about local property damage. When they refused, they were sent to jail. The search warrant for one of the three said FBI agents were looking for, among other things, black clothing and ‘anti-government or anarchist literature.’ Eventually, after they continued to refuse to testify, they were freed.”
        -The Stranger, June 21

        On the other hand, Jenny got into it with the Trump Administration and helped stop deportations at Sea-Tac Airport the night hey were instigated. So on that score, I could see read Jenny either way.

        But since I was involuntarily and without my consent, and over loud futile protests born in Texas, unshakable reflex: “Don’t Mess With Olympia!”

        Also think it’s better for all the world to turn somebody into a vampire than a snitch. Though I think correct anarchist uniform includes mandatory tailored cape, broad brimmed hat, and most important, round black bomb with a lit fuse in it.

        Generally agree with you about Prosecutor as career path for Mayor. Though really sorry Tim Burgess won’t be on the Council anymore. Can’t think of anybody it would be funnier to watch the Mayor prosecute.


    4. Durkan not only has no track record, she basically refused to state any positions or principles on current city issues. With all the big WSDOT projects going on in the city, with all the ST projects underway, with all the Move Seattle projects in the pipeline, with all the zoning issues that are current… we don’t even know what she’s about. Murray was much the same as a candidate.

      1. Unless Farrell pulls an upset, expect that approach to continue. There is no reason for Durkan to do anything but trumpet her experience. It will basically be an “I’m qualified, you’re not” campaign. Or maybe “Remember the last time we elected a mayor without relevant experience? He was so bad he came in sixth!”.

      2. What is Moon’s position on Murray leaving/staying? Arguably, Durkan can be attacked for not asking Murray to resign.

      3. I’m about ready to write to Sawant who is my councilmember and tell her to lay off Murray. His term ends in a few months so so there’s no point in making him resign now. The allegations against Murray are unproven, he’s not headed to trial, and they have nothing to do with his performance as mayor. It’s not like he’s taking bribes in office or colluding with a foreign power to throw an election. Pushing him to resign is an empty moral/political gesture which is not what our city council should be focusing on; they should focus on the critical needs of the city that they were elected to do.

      4. Durkan has all the hallmarks of a complete disaster. As a stealth candidate with no positions and no experience, she’s going to do absolutely everything wrong.

        Anybody but Durkan. Moon is more experienced.

    5. I wouldn’t say she is “bad,” but she is backed by a lot of people who are against things I am for. She also is getting a ton of donations from business groups.

      The Seattle Times has been giving her a hard sell as the adult supervision that socialist hellhole seattle needs, so that makes me suspicious.

      My gut reaction is that moon would be better on transit and housing issues, but it’s probably most fair to kind of reassess them both in the general.

    6. I can’t speak for the STB, but since I came to the same decision, using similar reasoning, I will say that I consider Durkan “less preferred”. As AJ said, she is basically a continuation of Murray, and should be able to manage things reasonably well. A lot will depend on who she appoints to run the various agencies, but I don’t see her being a disaster by any means.

      I think McGinn was a failure (which explains his low support) and I think Oliver would be just as bad, if not worse. Hasegawa looks OK until he opens his mouth, and unfortunately, he has done that way too often. Farrell was my pick, as she had experience to go along with the desire to change directions in the city. As I said earlier, I think Durkan would have been great 10 years ago, but now, with the city facing unprecedented growth, we need bold steps, not the moderate “let’s try and please everyone” urban village strategy.

      Which leaves Moon. I like her stance on every issue, but I am hesitant to support someone who seems so totally unqualified. Of course there are instances of mayors who did a decent job, despite lack of experience (Bloomberg comes to mind) and she seems like she has the personality and intelligence to be one of them. The key is to hire the right people, and manage them effectively. McGinn did neither, which is why I will have a tough time supporting her. If the results hold (and it is between Durkan and Moon) I may end up making the safe choice, and picking Durkan. I’m sure there are lots of people like me, which is why I think Durkan will win easily.

      1. Bloomberg ran a highly complex, very successful multi-billion dollar company with 1000s of employees. Politically he was an outsider, but in terms of management experience he was well-prepared.

        No matter who is mayor, however, we can’t magically generate more construction crews. The labor shortage will constrain new development for a while until new workers get trained or relocate from elsewhere.

      2. Durkan’s only administrative experience is as an appointed prosecutor. This isn’t at all like running a city. She has less experience with city bureaucracy than Cary Moon does.

        And much less experience when it comes to policy.

        These are all the hallmarks of a disaster. I would be very surprised if Durkan was anything less than a disaster as mayor.

  3. I’ve gotta say I’m a bit surprised that STB didn’t weigh in on the Port Commissioner races. While the port doesn’t have significant direct control of any regional transit and/or land-use, there’s enough tangential/peripheral connection to these issues to make them a force (to be reckoned with?). Add to that the fact that it’s sometimes tough for local voters to figure out these races, and thus are often interested in reading some informed opinions & endorsements….

    perhaps the STB board can add the Port races to their upcoming endorsements for the upcoming General Election?

    1. They didn’t chime in on the 31st LD Senate race, either. I thought that would have been a no-brainer. A progressive who listens versus a right-winger who tries to turn the Senate into political theater while voting to defund every single government funded program, including education and transit. Not to mention that half of the 31st LD is located within Metro’s service area. I know that the STB isn’t necessarily interested in rural politics, but who the 31st elects impacts funding decisions at the state level. Having somebody who will at least listen is a valuable asset. Again, within Metro’s service area.

  4. I was a bit surprised Farrell did as poorly as she did. It seems she just had no real constituency in this race – any establishment credentials she’d had from her time in the state House were dwarfed by Durkan for some unclear reason, and she had to split to urbanist vote with Moon and sort-of-McGinn right after stabbing the urbanists in the back with her MVET vote. Aside from that vote and her weak attempted defenses of it, she was a pretty good candidate, and I was mostly happy with her representation in the house (I live in the 46th), so I’m interested to see what’ll be next for her.

    If Moon finishes in 2nd, I’ll support her whole-heartedly. If Oliver sneaks into the run-off, I’ll likely end up voting Durkan.

    1. I think Durkan had the support of a lot of the establishment (including Murray) and had a lot of money. This made her the front runner, which explains why she did so well. That being said, she only got 30% of the vote, so it isn’t like a runaway win. She also has name recognition because of her experience (and her dad). In general, state reps rarely have that, unless they are very powerful members of the state legislature (and neither candidate is). My guess is Hasegawa did well in his district, and Farrell in hers.

      Then there is The Stranger endorsement. I’m sure this swayed a few people, and in a race this close, could have easily been enough. The Stranger’s bizarre choice of endorsing Moon, while several staff members wrote an editorial endorsing Oliver was enough to get both candidates a bunch of votes. They explicitly said they wanted an “outsider” (meaning someone without experience) which still boggles the mind. That is the reasoning which has lead to terrible results, all across the country (including here). Call me crazy, but I like it when people have demonstrated that they know how to do the job. I think a strong endorsement from The Stranger (like the one written by former Stranger writer Erica Barnett) could have pushed Farrell into second place, if not first.

      1. Durkan definitely had establishment support – I don’t think there’s any doubt about that. I’m just less clear on why. From my outsider perspective, it seems she showed up, mostly avoided saying anything about anything, and somehow got dubbed the ‘adult in the room’ and won a plurality of votes. Strikes me as weird..

        I agree with you that ‘outsider’ is generally a negative, and it’s one of the biggest knocks on Moon, IMHO. But I had to reread the Stranger endorsement. They list a bunch of fairly legitimate reasons, and in the final sentence, make a passing mention of her ‘outsider cred.’ I don’t agree with it, but it just didn’t seem to be a big factor in their endorsement.

        Farrell didn’t get the Stranger endorsement, and she also didn’t get the Urbanist endorsement, and she didn’t get the Seattle Subway endorsement. While the latter two drive a lot fewer votes than the Stranger, they speak to a base that was pretty lukewarm to her. If Farrell had cleaned up the endorsements from urbanist publications, and picked up the sometimes-urbanist Stranger endorsement, sure she’d likely be on the ballot in November. But she didn’t, despite being more qualified than Moon and more on-message than McGinn. Why not? Her vote to undermine ST right in the aftermath of her own district’s vote in support of it looms large here.

      2. I doubt very much her car tabs vote (which, as you well know, was simply symbolic) had anything to do with it. None of those publications mentioned it, and the one that knows the most about it — the organization that followed the issue more than anyone (this one) — ended up endorsing her.

        I doubt either The Urbanist, or Seattle Subway have much influence — very few people read the former, or care about the latter. Consider how many people followed the latest Seattle Subway map, which just about anyone who knows anything about transit would find ridiculous (who makes two criss-crossing lines in the middle of the urban core but fails to connect them?).

        No, the heavy hitter is The Stranger. They are a powerful organization, and a lot of people, after getting their ballot, simply vote who they recommend. The problem is that The Stranger is fucked up now. It isn’t just their choice of Moon, it is their choice of Grant. Holy cow, just about every left wing organization in the city rallied around Mosqueda, but The Stranger went the other way, and supported Grant, who has idiotically oversimplified views on housing. Not a single word in his diatribe about housing mentions single family zoned areas, yet housing is the cornerstone of his campaign.

        As for their particular endorsement, it was light on substance, but made very clear that when it came down to Moon versus Farrell, they supported Moon because she had less experience. The Stranger basically went through the same reasoning as this publication, but when it came to experience, they considered it a negative, not a positive. It wasn’t a passing reference — it was a key part of their endorsement.

        I think it is telling that at least one member of the old guard of The Stranger — the bad ass reporters that actually made them a respected force not only for culture reporting in the area, but for news as well as editorial opinion — endorsed Farrell. There is nothing in The Stranger’s split endorsement of Moon and Oliver that suggests a nuanced view of the issues, or the hard work required to actually implement them. Instead it is simply admiration for someone who rallies on the sidelines, and accomplishes little. I think The Stranger is increasingly comfortable with that role. They have gone from the left of center voice of reason to the Socialist Worker, ready to blame wealthy capitalists for every problem that this town encounters.

      3. I’m not sure what ‘simply symbolic’ means in this context. Sure, it wasn’t the deciding vote, and it (fortunately) did not become law, but to me, it revealed something about her overall backbone.

        Perhaps you’re reading some other Stranger endorsement of Cary Moon, but the one at dedicates less than one sentence each to Farrell and Moon’s experience: “We could live with Mayor Jessyn Farrell—one or two SECB members might go rogue and vote for her—…” and “Moon’s outsider cred.” That’s it. Out of a twelve-paragraph endorsement, too.

        Lastly, you seem to think I’m arguing against the point that the Stranger’s endorsement is the biggest of the ones I’ve mentioned. I’m not. It obviously is, and I generally agree with you about their overall weakness-of-thought these days (I pretty much wrote off the ‘new guard’ there after they editorialized against carbon pricing last year.) But they aren’t everything – Durkan and Mosqueda won the pluralities in their races, arts funding lost.. Look, if you want to believe that no matter what Farrell did, she would have lost simply because she didn’t get the Stranger endorsement, that’s fine. I can’t prove otherwise. But I don’t agree – I think if she had been able to go into the race with a clear argument that she was the best urbanist candidate, it could have made a difference, especially in a 21-candidate pool. But she couldn’t. Because she shivved ST3. So a lot of urbanists were more of the mind, “She’s okay, but Moon’s okay too, and McGinn wasn’t bad last time, and maybe we need some new blood, blah blah..” So that constituency fractured, and Moon will quite likely be able to use her share of the urbanist vote plus her share of the let’s-get-someone-new vote (which she split with Oliver), and go to the general.

      4. It’s always best to take the Stranger’s endorsements with several grains of salt, just like one does with the Seattle Times.

      5. I’m not sure what ‘simply symbolic’ means in this context. Sure, it wasn’t the deciding vote, and it (fortunately) did not become law, but to me, it revealed something about her overall backbone.

        That’s exactly what I mean. She voted the same way that everyone else — and I do mean everyone — voted. All the Democrats voted the same way. Yet it didn’t become law. That is pure symbolism. What harm was done with her voting yes to the bill? None! The only reason for her to vote no would be pure self interest (by making a purely symbolic “no” vote). Is that really what you want in a politician? Someone who will piss off their colleagues to score political points?

        Look, the governor is a Democrat. She is a Democrat. Don’t you think that the Democrats in the legislature (who — remember ALL voted for the bill) talked to the Governor before the vote? Of course they did. There was no way Inslee was going to sign that bill. It was pure political theater. A message was sent. The old car tab calculations are crap.

        By the way, how did Moon or Oliver vote on the issue? For that matter, how did they vote on any issue? We’ll never know, because they have never held political office. Somehow Farrell is being punished by folks for taking a symbolic vote, while Moon and Oliver get off scot-free because they never had to make a political decision (other than voting — something Oliver failed at repeatedly).

        As for The Stranger’s endorsement, that one sentence is critical. It is the only reason they give for not endorsing Farrell. Consider the opposite, the endorsement of Farrell, made by this blog:

        While we could further parse the policy statements of Cary Moon and Jessyn Farrell, these differences are small, and likely to disappear in the swirl of events and council politics.

        Instead, we should examine who is most likely to deliver their agenda. Like Ms. Oliver, Cary Moon has no government experience and may have the same teething troubles that other novices have. We’d be prepared to take a chance on her, but for the presence of Jessyn Farrell.

        It is exactly the same line of reasoning. Neither organization found significant differences from a policy standpoint between the two candidates, and chose the same deciding factor: Experience. Except that The Stranger preferred inexperience, while this blog chose experience.

        I think if she had been able to go into the race with a clear argument that she was the best urbanist candidate,

        How is she supposed to do that, when Moon has staked out the same positions on most issues? Moon has basically agreed with everything that Farrell says, but doesn’t have the experience. Every editorial I’ve read has said the same thing. The only thing differentiating the two candidates is a quality that most publications value, but The Stranger does not.

        But [The Stranger Endorsements] aren’t everything – Durkan and Mosqueda won the pluralities in their races, arts funding lost..

        Of course they aren’t everything, but in a crowded race, they are huge. Mosqueda won the plurality, but Grant beat out Nelson, which probably surprised a lot of people. Arts funding was a county wide vote (where The Stranger has less influence). The point is, The Stranger has influence in the city. The Stranger is where a candidate can make the case that they are clear urbanist candidate. If I had to put a number on it, I would say The Stranger endorsement is worth about 5% of the vote. Not enough to carry you to victory (sorry Grant) but enough to tip the scales. If The Stranger had a less reactionary, less radical editorial board (like it did 10 years ago) then an endorsement like the one given by Barnett would have pushed her into the lead.

      6. @ColumbiaChris — Yes, as it is with any editorial. The problem is that both have gotten worse over time. If you go way back, the Seattle Times and Seattle P. I. used to have the most influence in this town. They both wrote decent editorials — The Times was right of center, the P. I. left of center. But both would pick someone outside their political comfort range over a wacko. They valued experience and the ability to work with others over policy positions.

        The Seattle Times has slipped into right wing wacko mode, unfortunately. They have become reactionary in their opinions, and I have a tough time believing they can even pick a decent candidate for school board.

        For a while, The Stranger seemed to pick up where the P. I. left off. They picked left of center — and sometimes way left of center — candidates, but were known to pick quality over ideology. The best example of this was when they endorsed Sidran over Senn. Sidran was a law and order type that The Stranger vilified for years, because of the changes he was making (or wanted to make) in the city. But Senn (a fellow Democrat) was worse. She was a wacko, and The Stranger new it. So they endorsed Sidran, and minds were blown. After years of criticizing the guy, they basically said they should vote for him, because the alternative was terrible. I just don’t see that kind of courage or insight from The Stranger anymore. With the exception of Savage (who is obviously focused on more important things than local politics) I see writers who are either obsessed with global capitalism, or believe that rallies will change the world.

      7. @Ross, I still don’t buy that her vote was purely symbolic. I don’t see any reason to believe Inslee promised to veto it (feel free to provide a cite if you want), and if anything, Inslee is a pragmatist. The fact that even Democrats from pro-ST3 districts supported likely would have provided him cover to sign the bill, had it gotten to him. It’s fortunate that the Senate Republicans said no thanks to the half-loaf that was handed them, but the fact they did so is no credit to Farrell. I also see no particular reason to believe her colleagues would have been angered by her supporting her district and voting no. There was no need for this bill to have been unanimous. I’m really unclear on the need for all the myth-making around Farrell’s vote – it seems easier to just admit she blew it on this one; that it had some consequences, the magnitude of which are unknown; and move on.

        The claim that Moon and Farrell had the same positions is not true either. They were both competing for urbanist votes, but Moon left Farrell room to outflank her, had she (Farrell) chosen to. Here’s a formula to do so off the top of my head: support ST3 from revenue-side attacks vigorously, call Moon out on her speculation-is-driving-housing-prices nonsense, and point out repeatedly that Moon’s desired solution for the 99 replacement was a walkability disaster.

        I’m unclear if you think a Barnett-esque endorsement of Farrell from the Stranger would have actually put her into the lead (unlikely) or merely into the lead for second place (sure, maybe).

      8. For that matter, how did Durkan vote on any issue? She hasn’t because she’s never held elective office.

        How the hell did she position herself as “experienced”? As a lawyer, sure, but she isn’t running for DA or Public Defender! As a mayor? Zero experience.

    2. How the hell did she position herself as “experienced”?

      The U.S. Attorney’s office is a fairly large organization that has to obey political considerations. I believe the argument is that this is good preparation for running the city’s departments.

      1. Durkin, Oliver Moon there is no real difference between the three. They are all Seattle elitists who think people like me (Non-Seattle Residents) are subhuman. They all hate the police and think murder victims like Josh Wilkerson, Brandon Mendonza and Katie Stein deserved to die and their killers are heroes.

  5. Throwing this out to the horde– what do you think of the job SDOT Ron Kubly did? He appeared on a STB podcast but way after the ST3 vote, and no questions were asked about his thinking of the SDOT ST3 proposal. Would it make you more likely to vote for a mayoral candidate if one of them wanted Kubly to stay on (or state they would hire someone just like Kubly)?

    1. I have been unimpressed with Kubly. He has had plenty of opportunities to stake out a position as far as transit goes, but hasn’t done so. For example, he could have pushed hard for Ballard to UW light rail, or the WSTT, but he didn’t. He could have said something about the inappropriate nature of our streetcars, but didn’t.

      He did support the RapidRide+ projects, so that is something, but at this point, there is very little explanation as to the overall vision. Some projects (like Madison BRT) seem to be well designed, while others (Roosevelt HCT) are not. I’m OK with that, as long as you are transparent in your thinking (e. g. “Madison is just a much more important corridor for transit, while Eastlake and Roosevelt are more important for biking”). The point is, I don’t have any idea what we’ll with get with Kubly, and that’s not good. Maybe he is simply playing it quiet (and reflecting this lack of leadership and transparency of his boss) but if someone wanted to keep him, it would not be a good sign as far as I’m concerned.

      1. For example, he could have pushed hard for Ballard to UW light rail, or the WSTT, but he didn’t.

        Perhaps because he didn’t think that either Ballard-UW or the WSTT was the right solution?

    2. I’ve been disappointed at how Kubly is running the things that he’s supposed to run. Signals are failing all over Seattle, thanks to the City previously putting in elaborate sensors and push buttons that are no longer working correctly and go unrepaired for months and even years! Many streets, including major ones, are crumbling and there is no repair in sight. Potholes appear and are patched, but reappear within a few months. Pavement markings, including bicycle lanes and crosswalks, are disappearing without replacements being provided. Even the hallmark Vision Zero work on Rainier reduced volumes more than it reduced accidents, meaning that on a per car basis the accident rate actually increased!

      Kubly’s job should be first to maintain the system before changing it. He seems to be leading with these priorities reversed.

      I suspect that whoever is the new mayor will want to replace Kubly. The enthusiasm for having him lead is waning as day-to-day problems with SDOT become more and more noticeable and as many residents bristle at too much change all at once.

    3. It seems like SDOT is run in strict silos. Lander Overpass is planned with a sidewalk on only one side of the street and the Mercer Street signal adjustments were made only for cars, but then we have pedestrian improvements at 15th and Colombian removing the only safe left turn for drivers for quite a distance.

  6. No idea how often such a crowded race like Seattle mayor will come up, but 21 people competing for the top 2 slots is just ridiculous. There either needs to be a new voting system or some sort of party oversight to trim candidates down before the vote.

    Disappointing about the arts measure failing..But I suppose there are what limits to what a regressive sales tax can do. Maybe a lesson there for transit if another bond measure will be coming up in the near future.

    Does STB have any thoughts on the Seattle Port commissioner’s races? I’ll be honest that I’m not all that familiar with what the port does relating to transit, but seems like there would be some connections involving the airport. But I grew up near NYC where the local port seems to have a much more direct interaction with transit and roads.

    1. 21 candidates is unusual. It happened because there is no incumbent running. There is no party; these are nonpartisan positions. Seattle got rid of partisan positions a few years ago.

      The arts measure fell because the people who think we’re raising too many taxes combined with the people who think we need to focus on the most critical things right now. This is an unprecedented time when people can’t even afford to rent apartments, the city is growing faster than it ever has before, the public is waking up to the need for transit that can truly replace driving, and the perennial needs of education.

    2. The voting system you are looking for is called “approval voting”. Look it up. It would fix your problems.

  7. Assuming that the current numbers hold and we do indeed end up with a Durkan-Moon runoff, what are people’s guesses about the outcome in the general? Will the urbanist and anti-establishment crowds consolidate from Mcginn, Farrell, and Oliver to Moon? Where will Hasegawa’s supporters end up in November? Will Murray’s developing scandal cast a shadow over the Durkan campaign?

    1. I believe in not trying to predict because you’ll inevitably be wrong in unanticipated ways. We can’t control or predict what will happen in an election; it depends on who turns out to vote and whether they change their mind at the last minute. It’s more worthwhile to look at what each of them wants to do, judge how good or bad for the city that would be, guess how likely they might get into office, make contingency plans based on the impact and likelyhood, and then just watch the election with no expectations of how it might turn out. How many people predicted that Trump would win, that Trump and ST3 would win at the same time, that McGinn would be in and then out, and that Nickels wouldn’t make it through the primary in spite of his large base of support?

  8. The mayoral race is not uncertain. Durkan is the next mayor or Seattle, and I knew that as I was marking my ballot for Farrell. The general election is hers to lose.
    Just not Moon. Please not Moon. No more newbies running the city.

    1. Why are you calling out Moon here specifically? Oliver is arguably even more of a newbie. Are you just assuming it’s a Durkan/Moon race at this point?

      1. Also, FWIW, is Durkan, who has never , AFAIK, held elective office or worked at a city-level. As far as city politics goes, it’s reasonable to assert that Moon is more experienced than Durkan.

    2. This is sad. If the progressive forces had unified behind Moon, Moon would have won.

      Alternatively, if you had APPROVAL VOTING, which you badly need, we would have seen the most popular candidate win.

      Durkan is an inexperienced newbie with a bad policy platform. What’s to like?

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