ELECTION 2021: First primary vote count for Seattle mayor, council, city attorney

Four City of Seattle races on the primary ballot – here are the first results (next count not due out until tomorrow):

Mayor – Bruce Harrell with 38 percent, Lorena González with 29 percent

City Council Position 8 – Teresa Mosqueda with 55 percent, Kenneth Wilson with 18 percent

City Council Position 9 – Sara Nelson with 42 percent, Nikkita Oliver with 35 percent

City AttorneyAnn Davison with 35 percent, Pete Holmes with 33 percent, Nicole Thomas-Kennedy with 32 percent

We’ll flesh out the full list of numbers in a bit but in the meantime (update – screengrabs added), check this link for full results.

47 Replies to "ELECTION 2021: First primary vote count for Seattle mayor, council, city attorney"

  • Jeepney August 3, 2021 (8:17 pm)

    First returns looking very nice, except for Seattle City Council Position #8.  Playing some Sam Cooke tonight “A Change is Gonna Come”.

    • CAM August 3, 2021 (10:55 pm)

      Is this like Trump playing Petty or the Rolling Stones at his rallies? I’m not certain the lyrics of that song would align with the argument you are making here. 

    • Eldorado August 4, 2021 (9:40 pm)

      Anyone but who is in there now. 

  • 1994 August 3, 2021 (9:12 pm)

    Jeepney – I am in agreement with your comment.

  • Cranky August 3, 2021 (10:38 pm)

    Really Seattle? Bruce Harrell?

    • CAM August 3, 2021 (10:58 pm)

      No not really. This is less than 20% of the ballots that have been returned this far. 

      • WSB August 3, 2021 (11:04 pm)

        No, this count includes 18 percent of ALL Seattle ballots (basically all that had been returned through yesterday). As of 6 pm tonight, 28 percent of all ballots had been returned.

        Barring a massive surge in those last two hours, let say total turnout might finish around 35 percent, so tonight’s count is potentially half of all ballots cast in this election.

        • CAM August 3, 2021 (11:31 pm)

          Thanks for the correction!

          I would still argue that Harrell is not representative of the voters of Seattle since 62% have thus far voted for not him and Gonzalez should have no trouble consolidating that vote from her similarly aligned peers to defeat him.

          • Gunther August 4, 2021 (8:34 am)

            That seems like a dubious assumption for a number of reasons. Consolidation of votes among further left candidates hasn’t really played out in the past in city-wide races from primary to general. Durkan finished with 27.97% in the 2017 primary, while the 2nd and 3rd place finishers were significantly to her left and finished with 17.66% and 17.02%. Your argument would have had Carey Moon walking to an easy win in the general election, when in reality Durkan won rather convincingly with 56% of the vote.It could be argued that Bruce Harrell is in a stronger position now than Durkan was following the 2017 primary, if his lead holds.You can’t presume to know how people will vote after losing their first choice, and the turnout for general elections is typically higher with more moderates who pay little attention to politics.

  • Scubafrog August 3, 2021 (10:53 pm)

    This Ann Davison woman sounds like she’s gearing up to mass-incarcerate Seattle.  Good heavens.  She’s VERY eager to prosecute-and-incarcerate everyone by the tone of her ads.  Typical republican in every sense of the word.  Holmes really let Seattle down, the pendulum’s really swung far right in the sense that people are tired of crime.  But good heavens  :O

    • CAM August 3, 2021 (11:37 pm)

      33% of the vote went to Holmes and another 32% went to a candidate more progressive than him (so far). Technically Davison could still easily wind up in 3rd here. Either way, this was not an indictment of Holmes saying he was too liberal and if Davison is in the general in November her competitor will easily defeat her. 

      • Steve August 4, 2021 (7:16 am)

        Cam, maybe take a step back and wait for more returns before you go Nostradamus on us?

        • CAM August 4, 2021 (11:06 am)

          I didn’t know that basic addition was soothsaying. It’s fairly easy to read from the count so far that the majority of the voters were not interested in Davison’s message or moved by a let’s get tough on crime message. 

    • East Coast Cynic August 4, 2021 (7:20 am)

      I believe Ann Davison got the victim vote of catalytic converter theft, car theft, tire theft, and home and car break-ins; crimes that I suspect have increased over the past few years. Add in the viewers and victims of the youth bacchanals on Alki, and you may have a voting block.

      • WSB August 4, 2021 (9:11 am)

        For accuracy’s sake: If that were so, they voted in the wrong race. The City Attorney’s Office has nothing to do with any of those crimes. All felonies, handled by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Depending on what exactly you mean re: Alki bacchanals, there might be some misdemeanors there, but people would have to be arrested/cited before there would be any decision to charge or not. – TR

        • Anonymous Coward August 4, 2021 (9:21 am)

          Can you confirm that catalytic converter thefts are being prosecuted as felonies?  It’s my understanding that the catalytic converters themselves are usually worth less than $1000 and therefore considered a misdemeanor.   I believe that’s true even if the repair bill seen by the victims far exceeds the felony theft threshold.

    • Derek August 4, 2021 (8:38 am)

      I agree. Ann Davidson would be very bad for Seattle. I hope Thomas-Kennedy pulls it out. 

    • spooled August 4, 2021 (4:03 pm)

      This former straight ticket democrat is all in favor of mass incarceration of criminals, especially repeat ones.  I voted Ann Davidson and I even voted Culp.  Some people just don’t care about right and wrong and the only thing keeping them from preying on you or me is the threat of punishment.  Well that deterrent has no teeth lately.  I’ve had my car stolen, all of them broken into, at my own damn home!  My mailbox is found open at least once a week and the police (who I support) don’t come around.  You’re damn right some of us moderates are pissed off and ready to consider other options.  The current  deep blue leadership has had years to make things better yet my quality of life in West seattle has only gone down over the last 12 years.

  • anonyme August 4, 2021 (7:07 am)

    For the most part, it appears that Seattleites are eager to perpetuate the mess.  The Peter Principle at work!   I get the impression that most people vote on name recognition; maybe it’s time to stop blaming politicians and place the blame where it belongs – on voters.  I’m glad at least to see Ann Davison making a showing, although it’s questionable whether she’ll prevail come November.

    • Spike August 4, 2021 (2:34 pm)

      Is it so difficult to conceive of the possibility that many of us who vote for candidates you don’t like simply don’t agree that Seattle is a “mess,” or at least don’t think the proposed solutions of the more conservative candidates will do anything but make things worse? Don’t you think it’s possible that you happen to live in a very liberal city where perfectly well-educated voters who want the best for their communities just happen to disagree with you?

      • anonyme August 5, 2021 (7:03 am)

        If you don’t think that Seattle is a mess, then you’re not paying attention.  Please tell me who the “more conservative candidates” are, because I’m not seeing them.  I’d also be interested in learning about these proposals that will “make things worse”, as all I’m hearing are vague, weak proposals that are merely more exaggerated versions of the ones that have failed miserably so far.  I’m also far from the only voter in this town who used to consider themselves a (very) progressive liberal until the far left went over a cliff.  Everything needs balance, and Seattle hasn’t had any for quite some time.  The ‘top two’ system guarantees that the agenda will always be liberal – the question is, who gets to outdo the other in terms of extremity?  Disagreement is actually a good thing, but one that the left has worked very hard to shut down in recent years.  So I’ll turn your question back at you:  Don’t you think it’s possible that perfectly well-educated voters with more moderate views who want the best for their communities just happen to disagree with you?  It actually goes both ways.

        • Spike August 5, 2021 (5:10 pm)

          I don’t think Seattle is a mess, no. I think our city has problems, as all cities do, but overall I think this is a vibrant, healthy, safe place to live with a lower violent crime rate than average for a city of its size. I’ve lived all over the country, in cities both larger and smaller than Seattle, and I consider myself lucky to live here now.I would agree that our city has an unacceptably high number of unhoused people, a lack of affordable housing, and the property crime and crimes of opportunity that tend to come along with those problems. I’m not trying to pretend that these issues don’t exist. I just don’t believe sweeps of encampments or strict criminal punishments for property crimes will solve the problem.  I’m not implying you do, just stating my opinion so as to be clear.I also think the problems in Seattle are greatly exaggerated by misleading local and national media who paint with a broad brush, exaggerate crime statistics, and often completely fabricate stories in order to generate clicks, views, and profit. Scary stories of crime and woeful lamentations of how “Seattle is dying” are easy ways for the right wing media to rile people up, and the whole thing is frustrating to me as someone who likes where I live and is proud of a lot of things about Seattle. Fox News and KOMO and the like, with their cherry-picked reports of “lawlessness” meant to further their own political and business agendas, are not portraying an honest, real view of what life is like in Seattle. I should be clear that I’m not pretending to know what media sources you follow, and I’m not directing this at you personally. I’m just pointing out what I see as a toxic influence on our local politics.I’m a bit confused as to what you mean when you ask me to tell you who the “more conservative candidates” are. Any group of candidates for any office are going to be on a spectrum of political beliefs with some being more liberal and some being more conservative.  That’s all I meant by the phrasing, “more conservative” than other candidates on the ballot. I don’t think any of these candidates would seem particularly conservative on a ballot in a red city or a red state, but we can all agree that, say, Sara Nelson and Ann Davison have a “more conservative” set of beliefs than Nikkita Oliver and Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, right? I’m relieved that you’re a fan of disagreement, because I have to disagree adamantly with your statement that “Disagreement is actually a good thing, but one that the left has worked very hard to shut down in recent years.” The implication that the right in this country is more willing to hear the opinions of people who disagree with them than the left in recent years is, at best, a completely misinformed statement. I would argue that the right wing of American politics has become completely reactionary, with no real political agenda of its own beyond opposition to liberals and obstructionism. Anyone who disagrees with whatever culture war issue the right is currently obsessed with is tarred with labels like “socialist.” I mean, just look at the Republican Party itself, with the staunchly conservative Liz Cheney being called a “traitor” by members of her own caucus simply for being unwilling to support an obvious lie and an attack on democracy. But I digress.I’ll end by saying I’ll happily agree that there are passionate voters who have done their research and disagree with me on these issues. I see them here in the blog comments all the time. Nowhere in my previous comment do I say anything that would lead one to believe I don’t know there are well-intentioned people who disagree with me. You’re the one who was implying that anyone voting for the candidates you didn’t like was doing so based on “name recognition” and not real beliefs. You’re the one saying if I don’t think our city is a mess that I’m “not paying attention.” I know it’s a two way street, do you?

          • Spike August 5, 2021 (5:47 pm)

            I swear there were paragraph breaks in that when I posted it. 😂

        • CMT August 5, 2021 (6:59 pm)

          I’m with you anonyme.  I used to consider myself a (very) progressive liberal as well.  I have lived in Seattle my whole life, aside from graduate school.  Just because Seattle may have “a lower than violent crime rate than other cities it’s size” does not negate the heartbreaking state of affairs stemming from failed and doubled down on policies that is apparent to so many that have seen better times here.  I also agree with happycamper’s comments that are both compassionate and logical.

          • Spike August 5, 2021 (8:24 pm)

            Just to clarify, violent crime rates in Seattle are not only low compared to similarly-sized cities, but per capita violent crime rates in Seattle have been holding pretty steady or in some cases even declining for decades. Facts like this lead a more recent resident like myself to wonder when these supposed “better times” were, and if they were actually better. 

  • Derek August 4, 2021 (8:37 am)

    Glad Mosqueda is doing well. Disappointing to see Nelson with so many votes. I also wanted Echohawk badly and I am confused by her totals as she had so much support at all her rallies. Ugh.

  • Dr. No August 4, 2021 (9:22 am)

    Well, it appears so far that the citizens of Seattle want more of a moderate tone out of its leaders. From most of the comments above, it would appear that many are more (further) left leaning. That’s cool, but you’ve had years to make changes and the city is continuing its downward spiral- and don’t blame the pandemic. Leaders can and should change..policy should too. The people have spoken so far. They’re favoring more moderate candidates (and no that doesn’t mean Trump supporter, it means Liberal Democrat) and it just means that the far left has overplayed its hand and people of Seattle want change. Because Democracy..

    • Jeepney August 4, 2021 (9:51 am)

      Thank you.  I have voted Democrat my whole life but I agree that we need some common sense moderates leading the city.  Enough with activists who only cater to their special interest groups, we need leaders that represent all of us.

      • Derek August 4, 2021 (12:34 pm)

        This is absurd.  These “moderates” have policies that sound like Donald Rumsfeld helped write them.  They’re right wing.  Especially Nelson.

    • My two cents … August 4, 2021 (3:06 pm)

      Well stated. Chasing headlines as opposed to reaching compromises and implementing them seems to be the default action by too many of our representatives.

  • HappyCamper August 4, 2021 (11:36 am)

    I agree with Dr. No,I’m pretty liberal so I agree with the spirit of most progressive policies but I sometimes find the real world implementation of them problematic. For example: it’s cruel to criminalize poverty, but it’s wrong steal. What do we do about that? I don’t think we allow people to just steal whatever they want…there’s got to be a better way than that.I will personally be voting more center left because I think that position at least keeps one foot in reality considering both the idea and the real world. There has to be balance in all things and some things in the city are off kilter.

    • S.A. August 4, 2021 (12:27 pm)

      We know locking people up doesn’t work and creates more potential for future criminal behavior (because locking people up disrupts any services they might have been getting, disrupts their families, makes it harder for them to get a job with a record, exposes them to other folks doing criminal bx, causes trauma that makes it harder for them to function, etc.) and imposing fines on people who don’t have any money is beyond a joke.  To send them to treatment (whether for mental illness or substance use) requires that those treatments actually exist. Often people are stealing because they lack money for basic needs, lack stable housing, etc.  It seems counter-intuitive, in a “punish crimes” mentality, to give people services as a “reward” for doing low-level crime, so people resist funding programs that actually treat the problems that increase crime, but that’s exactly what is needed.  Unfortunately centrists are, by definition, not going to help provide those kinds of solutions.

      • FM August 4, 2021 (3:44 pm)

        Well if that’s the definition of centrist, then the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result..

        • HappyCamper August 4, 2021 (6:10 pm)

          Agreed. I never said anything about locking people up or any of that stuff; just that there has to be a better way. I’m optimistic and idealistic but also a little realistic. I want a good solution that’s all.Copper and catalytic converters aren’t basic needs and there are plenty of places to go for basic needs legally and for free. I’m saying this as a matter of fact and not talking about the millions of different situations these people are in. Anyone can cherry pick a situation to reinforce their point no matter what it is. But theft, garabage and vandalism affect us all. Would the people that think this is working be ok with me dumping my garbage and some needles in their front yard? Probably not because that’s not cool. It’s the same thing. We share the city and there are certainly things that just aren’t ok. There’s got to be a way to help people and clean things up as well, right?Call me crazy but I think we can help people with addiction and/or whatever problems they have while still not just “accepting” camping and needles in our parks and stealing from stores. I just feel we don’t have a real structured way to do that effectively.That puts me in the center. To me being in the center means listening to all information and coming to a logical informed conclusion. It sure seems to me that the current approach is not working. When teams get together to brainstorm to solve big problems they don’t care about right wing or left wing or whatever, they focus on solutions. Who cares if it’s “liberal” or “conservative”? The truth is it’s probably a little bit of both. 🤷‍♂️

          • Bekind2021 August 5, 2021 (12:59 pm)

            This!! EXACTLY!!! And at some point when people start realizing this, we will have more qualified and productive people running for office. Look where being just democrat or republican has gotten us. 

      • Natinstl August 8, 2021 (8:03 pm)

        I grew up poor, my parents are still dirt poor and wouldn’t get by without my help sometimes, which they’ve never asked for. They never stole from others to get by.

  • Joe Z August 4, 2021 (12:45 pm)

    Very strong showing for Gonzalez in a crowded field…looks like we’re going to be adding mayor to the long list of politicians who live in West Seattle. 

  • curiousquestioner August 4, 2021 (1:03 pm)

    For most of the 60s, 70s, ad 80s, New York was a city that the entire world viewed as both wonderful and unsafe.  Crime was rampant, and it really wasn’t safe to walk around the city after dark. If you have been to NYC in the past 30 years (pre covid) and enjoyed your time and felt safe there, you can thank the now vilified Rudy Giuliani for cleaning things up and making the city safe and livable again. Seattle would benefit from a similar approach to addressing crime, but it is too attached to left liberal politics to make the changes that are needed to make the city a safe and livable place again. I’m sure some will think I am a fascist for even suggesting this.

    • CAM August 4, 2021 (6:18 pm)

      “Greenberg also found no causal connection between officers per capita at the precinct level and reductions in violent crime, or between an increase in misdemeanor arrests and a drop in felonies (as “broken windows” implies might happen). Other research [PDF] conducted by Rosenfeld and Robert Fornango found that the policy of stop-and-frisks had scant impact as well. There’s also the sticky issue that crime fell dramatically during this period in cities everywhere. New York wasn’t alone (although its story was admittedly dramatic).”


      • Spike August 4, 2021 (10:58 pm)

        C’mon, Cam, don’t bring facts into this, that isn’t fair!

  • M. Noodle August 4, 2021 (6:21 pm)

    I don’t understand why democrats have a problem with Harrel or Nelson?   I’m liberal and voted for both of them.  Did I miss some mandatory group think session at Ounces?  I kid!   But I’m also sincerely confused.  How are Harrel and Nelson centrist?  Compared to who?  Actual examples would be great.  Saying their policies could have been written by x or that they want to throw everyone in jail doesn’t count as debate so don’t bother if you’re going to spew fallacies at me.   There seems to be lots of faulty reasoning on this thread.  

    • S.A. August 5, 2021 (2:04 pm)

      If you actually want an answer to your question, there are plenty of editorials you can read that would explain their position to you.

  • Pessoa August 4, 2021 (6:34 pm)

    Hard to believe people are still using “democrat” or “republican” to separate their political leanings from the other. Everyone is a special interest and quite willing to elect a surrogate who will then do their dirty work for them, sanitized via the “democratic process.”

    • M. Noodle August 4, 2021 (8:02 pm)

      An excellent example of faulty logic Pessoa.   I’m a vegan, atheist, radical feminist, zero population growth, Democrat who doesn’t believe people should be put in prison….ever.  So I do have to pick a surrogate who is less “out there” to nose the least radical part of my agenda forward.  But! I don’t find people “dirty” because they eat at McDonald’s, believe in a god, or have children despite obvious, fact-based options that would be better for all of us.  Is there a form of government you prefer over ours? We are the oldest surviving federation; it does seem to be going somewhat well.   We rank 25th or something worldwide on the democracy portion which makes sense given the diversity of ethnicities, opinions, and religions we embrace.  How would you fix “things”?

      • Pessoa August 5, 2021 (7:14 am)

        There is “no faulty” logic in what should be a straightforward, inescapably obvious statement: Democracies are flawed political instruments that can be used to “club” one individual by another simply by the brute force of a majority.  To explicate this simple idea any further runs the risk of being pedantic. 

      • anonyme August 5, 2021 (7:25 am)

        M. Noodle, just wanted to acknowledge that you are not the only moderate who is also vegetarian, atheist, radical feminist, for zero population growth.  I would also add animal rights activist and environmentalist to the list.  But I’ve also been called Trump-loving, fascist, and Nazi for merely expressing skepticism about certain far-left policies.  In Seattle, far left has become mainstream, with anything right of that stance prone to some pretty extreme and nonsensical accusations.  It’s bizarre.

Sorry, comment time is over.