There’s a major mayoral showdown shaping up on the streets of Capitol Hill — along Republican St. to be specific. As squint-inducing election result maps rolled out today from the August 6 primary, one of the starkest neighborhood divides appears to be on Capitol Hill. Challenger state Sen. Ed Murray dominated the wealthier homeowner precincts in north Capitol Hill as incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn took the apartment and food+drink saturated precincts in the central part of the neighborhood.
City-wide Murray garnered 30% of the primary vote to beat McGinn’s 29%; the two liberal Democrats will face-off in the November election.
Murray’s single strongest core of support were precincts surrounding Volunteer Park. Murray dominated his home precinct on the north Hill, garnering 53% of the vote while McGinn only managed 18% there. McGinn won the east side of the Hill, but his margins declined further out towards 23rd Ave. East of 32nd Ave. is solid Murray country. Central Capitol Hill is a clear McGinn stronghold, as are Fremont, Ballard, and Phinney Ridge. Murray made a strong showing in Queen Anne, West Seattle, and northeastern neighborhoods. For an interactive look at the results and a precinct-by-precinct breakdown, check out the Seattle Times map here.
Overall on Capitol Hill Murray actually edged out McGinn, taking 38% of the vote compared to the mayor’s 36%, according to expert analysis from PubliCola. That’s a drop for McGinn compared to his first mayoral election when he took 38% of the neighborhood vote to handily beat then-incumbent Greg Nickels.
CHS sat down with McGinn in July to ask him if he could, once again, charm Capitol Hill voters. While Murray’s Summit and Pike campaign headquarters is in solid McGinn-land, Murray is counting on strong support in Capitol Hill to carry him into the mayor’s office.
The Capitol Hill rift marks a shift from the 2009 election, when Capitol Hill was a power core for McGinn, with north Capitol Hill precincts going luke warm for the pro-bike environmentalist. In 2009 McGinn garnered 40 to 60% of the vote in many of the precincts that have now come out for Murray.
City Council member Bruce Harrell easily won a pocket of precincts around his home neighborhood in the Central District and had a strong showing in south Seattle. But on Capitol Hill, Harrell couldn’t manage to break into the McGinn-Murray stand-off. Peter Steinbrueck, with his slow-growth message for the city, made little headway in central Seattle, aside from one precinct he won in South Lake Union.