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Election 2013 | Seattle Mayor and City Council results — Murray comes up big

With Bryan Cohen reportingIMG_8412

IMG_8312It appears that Ed Murray will be Seattle’s first openly… Capitol Hill mayor. With the Hill serving as the city’s election night headquarters (above, images from the Sawant, McGinn and Murray campaign parties all within a five minute walk of each other), the first ballot count in the 2013 races for mayor and City Council seats were released just after 8:15 PM showing challenger Murray with a sizable early lead over incumbent Mike McGinn. Tuesday’s count included more than 90,000 ballots. There are more than 410,000 registered voters in the city.

Murray took the stage just before 9 PM as his campaign celebrated election night at 10th and Pike’s Neumos, saying that only a few short years ago it would have been unimaginable for him to stand next to his husband as mayor.

Murray’s supporters erupted in deafening screams and applause when the initial results were first displayed, all but ensuring Murray’s victory. The high energy atmosphere carried on for the better part of an hour. Murray was clearly enjoying his victory, but stuck to the script in his speech, careful not to get caught up in the moment. He talked about civic duty and the positive role government can play in people’s lives.

Earlier in the night, McGinn’s not-yet-a-concession speech took a nostalgic turn. “I’m proud of what we did,” he said to his supporters at 95 Slide. “You guys all know — I’m from the Sierra Club. And one of the rules is you have to leave a place better than when you’ve found it. And we’ve done that.”

UPDATE Thursday, November 7 10:45 AM: In a morning press conference, Mayor Mike McGinn announced his concession to Murray in the race for City Hall — and began the work of cementing is legacy of setting a new course for Seattle leadership based on transit and progressive values. “If you look at Mr. Murray’s agenda, that’s the agenda I ran on four years ago,” McGinn said.

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Despite the significant gap in the early tally, McGinn’s campaign said the candidate is not yet conceding despite the nostalgia-twinged speech at his election night party at E Pike’s 95 Slide.

Murray is a longtime Capitol Hill resident and has served the 43rd District in Olympia for nearly two decades. He married his partner Michael Shiosaki this summer after helping to lead the initiative to legalize gay marriage in the state. If elected, Murray will be Seattle’s first openly gay mayor.

CHS talked to Murray about his campaign on his home turf earlier this summer. “The issue is not whether you’re an outsider or an insider, the issue is are you delivering on the things that Capitol Hill residents value,” Murray said. “And I would say as a legislator, I have. And as a mayor, I could.”

Meanwhile, we asked whether incumbent McGinn could charm the Hill again? The answer for one of McGinn’s most visible blocks of support in 2009 was no — this group of mostly Capitol Hill nightlife business owners turned on the incumbent after supporting his first campaign and threw their collective weight behind Murray.

McGinn came close -- but didn't concede Tuesday night (Images: Alex Crick for CHS)

McGinn came close — but didn’t concede Tuesday night (Images: Alex Crick for CHS)


Sawant on election night (Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

Candidate for City Council and challenger against incumbent Richard Conlin, Socialist Alternative Kshama Sawant trailed by seven points in the early returns. We reported on one of the final duels between the candidates and Sawant’s push for a $15 minimum wage and rent control in the city here. Ramy Khalil, Sawant campaign manager, told CHS Tuesday night, “Whatever happens tonight, we’ve already won.”IMG_8108

On the city proposition front, City of Seattle Proposed Charter Amendment No. 19, the plan to transition Seattle’s city council to a geographic district model appeared to be headed toward victory while Prop. 1 which would publicly finance council elections looked headed for defeat.

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School board voting for the Hill’s districts included a hopeful showing in District 4 for parent activist Sue Peters.

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You can view all tallies at the King County Elections results page.

In two key statewide votes, the *extremely* early totals show I-522, an initiative to require the labeling of GMO food products, getting creamed. Meanwhile, I-517’s push to protect the initiative signature gathering process in Washington is also being rejected.

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At Neumos, the crowd included an a-list of Washington politicians including former Governor Chris Gregoire who introduced Murray as the nation’s “greatest mayor.” Meanwhile, via Twitter, King County Executive Dow Constantine, who watched the votes come in at nearby Lost Lake, congratulated Murray and said the likely winner “has the experience to hit the ground running and set a new, collaborative tone for the city.

Rep. Jim McDermott, who also made an appearance at Neumos, said he had no dog in the hunt but that Seattle would benefit from either candidate.

“When you put them side-by-side, what they believe, there’s not that much difference,” he said.


Murray’s party at Neumos as the first results were announced:

Murray on the “moral test” of his administration:

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UPDATE Wednesday, November 6th 3:10 PM: King County Elections says more updates coming today: “The Elections Department will issue a first set of results at 4:30 p.m. as planned, along with a second set of results at 8:30 p.m.” You can access the latest tallies at’s election results site.

4:30 PM: In the latest Seattle update, McGinn crawls back… a teensy bit. But the math works out — AP is calling the race for Murray.

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Meanwhile, Sawant’s hope for late momentum looks like it won’t be nearly enough:Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 4.35.41 PM

More interesting are close races like the School Board’s District 4 where Peters has stretched her lead:Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 4.29.11 PM


At the state level, the tally for I-522 remains virtually unchanged from the first counts as “yes” continues to trail by a wide margin.Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 5.13.49 PM

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37 thoughts on “Election 2013 | Seattle Mayor and City Council results — Murray comes up big

  1. Regardless of the final election results, Sawant won the Council Position 2 race. She won by redefining and reframing the political debate to address real issues of concern to ordinary working people. She won by demonstrating that without any corporate dollars behind her, she was still able to capture 46% of the vote. This was accomplished despite the overwhelming corporate dollars spent to defeat her! She won because other politicians realized that her issues were so potent with working people that they tried to coopt them. She won because the issues she raised will not go away and great political pressure will endure at the grassroots to win passage of them.

    • She lost. She lost by having a losing message. She lost because she didn’t win the election. She lost because she didn’t get enough votes…..

      Actually she lost because her populist rants didn’t resonate with the voters here. You are not oppressed. Now get off your butts and make something of yourselves.

      • To follow on slightly from that– she lost because more of us disagreed with her message than agreed with it. I don’t care how much money was spent to defeat her. I didn’t see, hear, or watch one single commercial for Conlin. Nobody fooled me into voting for him with slick attack ads or misleading claims. You can say she succeeded in mainstreaming the dialog, but don’t claim she lost because all the money spent against her. She lost because plenty of people just like me happened to not agree with her.

      • Yeah!! All those lazy homeless people and other disenfranchised folks should just go get some jobs!! It’s not like the system is loaded against them or anything. Obviously, anybody struggling to make ends meet is simply not working hard enough! Thanks for your refreshing insight.

      • I didn’t vote for her, but your reasoning is just an offensive small-minded rant. She won a stunning percentage of the vote for a grass roots, self-bootstrapped candidate, because she ran a smart, gutsy, and impassioned campaign.

        Clowns like you account for easily half the misery in the world. Do us all a favor: quit whatever job you’re so proud of, and move to Sarah Palin’s “real amerika”.

      • She lost me totally and completely when she failed to walk her own talk…. if you are going to propose a new minimum wage at least pay it to your own campaign workers….

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  3. I look forward to the leadership and comity that Ed Murray will demonstrate as Mayor. He will be a far cry from the divisiveness and arrogance of ex-Mayor McGinn. Hooray!!

  4. Ugh. I believe that Seattle has taken an enormous step backwards by electing Murray. He’s a terrible lawmaker and will make a terrible mayor. McGinn may have been “divisive”, whatever that means, but he quietly got things done. Seattle likes their incumbents, though, just look at how many times we effing elected that scumbag Greg Nickels. Well, we just elected the son of Nickels, so here we go again…

    • Agreed. McGinn was a great down to earth leader. He made hard decisions and got a lot done.
      Ed Murray will be like most career politicians, out of touch, and full of it. A great match for our city council made up of grouchy old white people.

  5. The majority of the Seattle population that I’ve worked and socialized with in the four years I’ve been here have been tediously passive and oppressively polite. The driving psychology as I detect it is an intensely feminine one, so I’m not surprised at the kickback against McGinn. His direct style horrifies here.

    • Oh, so THAT’S why McGinn lost? Seattle folk are too limp-wristed and “feminine” to handle him? What illuminating observations I’m seeing here today.

    • lol – did you grow up somewhere else? So did I. I also liked McGinn as a straight forward leader who pushed to really actually do things rather than being wishy washy and asking…. (which around here accomplishes absolutely nothing). I’m not surprised he lost, he made some tough decisions, some of them unpopular (but IMHO necessary) and then went ahead and worked hard to make them happen. I didn’t always agree with him, but could respect that he was willing to take charge rather than allow the rather passive-aggressive public sentiment around here to push him to inaction.

      • Please illuminate us by stating 3 specific things that McGinn accomplished. I can’t think of one. He mainly was an oppositional, divisive, negative Mayor…and that’s why he alienated so many people and lost the election.

        P.S. New bike lanes would have happened no matter what…the Master Plan was created during the Nickels administration. McGinn can’t take credit for this.

    • Bike lanes are great. If you want to preserve the identity of “the hil” why don’t you remember that this was the black neighborhood in 1960. Now it’s becoming a disgusting gentrified white neighborhood where rich white people can meet an have $16 cocktails and eat a $20 hamburger.
      Capitalist hill is more like it. This neighborhood is getting lamer by the day and mcGinn had nothing to do with it.

      • You either are very young or you haven’t lived here long. I am a life-long Seattleite. Capitol Hill was never a “black neighborhood.” But it is a very diverse and interesting neighborhood, hardly “disgusting.”

        Yes, gentrification is happening and it’s a good thing, even though you obviously don’t like it.

    • I usually have a don’t feed the trolls policy but this is irresistible. BLEW WHAT exactly? And ‘again’? If you are talking about messing up who we voted for mayor, they you are actually contradicting yourself with the ‘again’ bit as from my point of view we blew it last time, and are correcting it with the Murray vote. Also and for the record while Conlin is not optimal I thank the heavens that sawant is off the radar.

      • I agree. However, I doubt Sawant is gone for good. With district City Council elections now approved by voters, there is a pretty good chance she will run for Council in one of the districts, likely the one which includes Capitol Hill.

  6. 46% of the vote to an open socialist? Over 80% of those who voted for Sawant under age 35? Like us or not, “the times, they are a changing!” Socialism is putting human beings before profits. The Cold War is long over and it’s rhetoric and scare tactics are too! Endless wars, crushing runaway debt, and a continually declining standard of living effect MILLIONS of Americans, not the Americans with millions! If the richest 1% control our government, how can you call that democracy? This is a statement that more and more people are fed up with being told that democrats are “for the people” as they bail-out billionaires (with THE PEOPLE’S tax dollars), government assassinations, endless wars, spying on ALL of it citizens. All the while our country is crumbling.

    I am proud of Ms. Sawant, the volunteers, and the tens of thousands of Seattle voters who voted for her! Stand up to the status quo! Show the world Americans are NOT apathetic! We’re here, were growing, and this is only the beginning!

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  8. Murray over McGinn, Conlin over Sawant, No over Yes on 522 = money over people. But none of you won by a landslide. You just edged us out the way you’re attempting to edge us out of our neighborhood with your condos, your SUVs and your narrow minds. But we’re not going away. Our numbers will grow as more people realize how duped they have been. Murray will look good in the press and everyone will congratulate themselves for voting him in. But the homeless, the poor, the people who serve you will suffer for it. But our numbers are strong and just because we didn’t win doesn’t mean you don’t still have to answer to us. Our job just got a little tougher but, those of us who have struggled and worked hard for what little we have don’t give up. We work twice as hard. It’s what you learn to do… what you have to do… when you’re up against those who can sit back and buy their way to victory.

    • That’s a broad brush you paint with. Under whose leadership have you been “edged out” of Capitol Hill? McGinn was at the helm when the prices starting skyrocketing in the ‘hood. And yes, I voted for Murray. I think that McGinn had a chance and did not deliver, and I think that the increase of crime was not something he took seriously. Do I think Murray is the second coming? No. But I think it was time to give somebody else a chance.

      And for what it’s worth, I am a homeowner (coop, not condo) who does not drive an SUV and who actually voted for Sawant because I thought a new voice would be refreshing on City Council. And, I also voted yes on 522. So I am not the evil, greedy, douchy tech worker who you would love to demonize for every ill that befalls this neighborhood.

      I guess what I am saying is, put away the tired stereotypes; they are completely counterproductive.

      • I just looked over my post and I don’t recall accusing anyone of being an “evil, greedy, douchy tech worker.” However, I do believe that’s a tired stereotype. And you’re a coop homeowner, don’t drive an SUV, voted for Sawant and Yes on 522? What are you defending yourself against here? A vote for Murray?

      • Yes, you’re right. Because you insinuate that those of us who voted for Murray are for “money before people” , drive SUV’s and have narrow minds . I’m trying to point out that we (whoever you mean by “we) don’t necessarily fit the picture you’re trying to paint. And your insinuation that “we” are trying to edge you out of the neighborhood is ridiculous. You should read your post again.

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  12. I knew Seattle and “the Hill” when it was a joy to be there. 120 children on the block and
    they played safely on the street or in the Arboretum. Can you do that now?
    I lived there for 65 years and now I live where that actually happens.
    You have what you wanted and now you will pay the price. You are on the way to Detroit.
    Socialism destroys.

  13. Im confused on why there was almost a riot over porta pottys? I came to have fun, but yet could not get a bathroom!! I think its bull shit for a crowd of 750,000 +. I saw four porta pottys within miles!!!??? This was almost a huge problem down town and I’m cunfussed on who made these calls? I HAVE BEEN TO MANY EVENTS, AND BATHROOM WISE, THIS WAS THE WORST!!!!!!!! Snohomish county parade had more bathrooms, and not nearly close to the amount of money and people as Seattle!!!! This is bullshit, and you know it, but I guess its hard to put your face on pissers! Enjoy your perfect life!! Signed kids who had to pee their pants!!! GO SEATTLE!!!!! GO HAWKS!!! AND GO FUCK YOURSELF!!!