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Born in the Central District, Bruce Harrell is Seattle’s next mayor — UPDATE

Bruce Harrell has won again.

The veteran politician’s opponent Lorena González conceded the Seattle mayor’s race Thursday after the latest count of ballots by King County Elections showed that the moderate-leaning trends from Seattle’s Election Night would hold.

“This campaign is over but our work continues because the struggles people in Seattle face remain,” González said in a statement. “Together, we shaped the conversation on our city’s most pressing issues, and Mayor-Elect Harrell made commitments in response to our pressure to not criminalize poverty, to expand progressive revenue sources, to demilitarize the police and invest in alternative responses to public safety calls, and to rapidly create appropriate shelter and not forcibly sweep the unhoused from public spaces.”

The latest tally shows Harrell with 62% of the vote. King County says turnout landed about where it was expected in the city at 54%. The Capitol Hill ballot drop box was typically busy, collecting more than 10,000 ballots — more than 6,000 on election day.

Voters under 35 made up about 18% of returned ballots while representing more than 25% of the county’s population.

Whether the late voting, younger electorate will be part of pushing the November 2021 results farther left won’t matter as most major Seattle races appear too far out of hand.

The race was marked by unprecedented spending with both camps raising more than $2 million combined. Another $2 million plus was raised by independent expenditure committees supporting the rival candidates. This was also the first year the mayor’s race was included in the city’s Democracy Vouchers program.

As a result, Seattle is on course to have a new business friendly presence on its City Council and a Republican at the helm of its City Attorney’s office.

It will also have a familiar face leading it. Harrell is a City Hall veteran with Central District roots and a track record of pro-business, moderate political views.

First elected to the Seattle City Council in 2007, Harrell would go on to win two more terms and serve as council president before deciding not to run again in 2019. The 62-year-old was raised in the Central District and briefly served as the city’s first Asian-American mayor in 2017 after Ed Murray resigned.

Harrell, who is of Black and Asian descent and served as the chair of the council committee on public safety, has said while he doesn’t support abolishing the police department, he would push for a “reimagining” that would eradicate bad officers from the force and change who is responding in cases where armed police aren’t necessary.

Harrell’s homelessness plan, meanwhile, calls for more housing and would hinge on “a capital campaign” supported by charitable giving from the private sector, not new taxes. Meanwhile, Harrell said parks and streets should be cleared of encampments with increased outreach effort from workers to provide shelter and services.

“These results prove,” Harrell said earlier this week, “that we can and will change the narrative in this city by coming together, uniting around our shared values, and doing the work to move Seattle forward.”

UPDATE 11/5/2021: In a message to supporters, González addressed what will come next as she wraps up her term on the city council.

“After nearly 300 days of campaigning, I am looking forward to resting, finishing my sixth year of service on the City Council and writing the next chapter of my public service,” González said.

González briefly ran for state attorney general in 2019, but suspended her campaign after two weeks once it became clear incumbent Bob Ferguson would seek another term.

 

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Buzzin’
Buzzin’
27 days ago

Well, no matter what all the comments here are .. . The people have voted. And the decision sends a clear message.

Fairly Obvious
Fairly Obvious
27 days ago
Reply to  Buzzin’

And the decision sends a clear message.

Seattle wants the homeless problem to get worse?

Glenn
Glenn
27 days ago
Reply to  Fairly Obvious

Obvious, just console yourself with the fact that this was not an election year to decide seven seats on Council. Only two were at risk, and progressives should be very thankful for that.

CD Born n Raised
CD Born n Raised
27 days ago
Reply to  Buzzin’

Except that sometimes democracy fails. I know many who didn’t vote because both candidates were awful and not actually progressive. Imagine if you had a ballot that only had Steve Bannon and Donald Trump on it. Just because one wins doesn’t mean we win. Trump got elected. Doesn’t mean it was right and the best path forward or provable science of how people feel. This kind of post is dangerous. Progressives will go harder left the next time. This cycle isn’t new. What sucks is we elected a republican who has never won a single case she practiced and wants to put everyone in jail. You guys are in for some dark years.

big gay Danny
big gay Danny
27 days ago

If Lorena wasn’t progressive enough for you, who is?

CD Born n Raised
CD Born n Raised
27 days ago
Reply to  big gay Danny

Lorena is still a lib. I prefer real socialists/Marxists.

Glenn
Glenn
26 days ago

Where is Tom? As I said Tom, many progressives (including CD Born n Raised) are dismissive of liberals, equating them with Republicans or neo-liberals, as they refer to them. This is a widely held belief among progressives in our city.

Engels
Engels
26 days ago

When people say they like some political system like Marxism, they haven’t the slightest clue as to what they’re talking about. They’ve never lived in any other system before, and divorced from history and reality. The reality of what these systems are, are in complete contradiction to their everyday lives and how they’d live them, not to mention the very “philosophers” they’re espousing often don’t even believe in their own works, especially in the case of Marx. It’s absurd at every level.

D3 Resident
D3 Resident
25 days ago
Reply to  Engels

And what’s capitalism doing other than failing miserably?

James
James
24 days ago
Reply to  D3 Resident

You need to learn more about other countries to what failing really looks like. And stop looking to the state to solve your spiritual problems, we kinda wrote that into the constitution for good reasons.

Privilege
Privilege
23 days ago
Reply to  James

Pretty sure you can look at the encampments and see what failing really looks like. In fact, it looks a lot like those countries you speak of here.

Engels
Engels
24 days ago
Reply to  D3 Resident

I’d recommend reading about China’s 20th century man made political disasters, and how it’s the reason China is where the US was in the 1950s today. Yes, you can destroy your country, setting it back in time a 100 years. You can make such bad decisions while purging capitalism or whatever, to destroy nearly all of your country’s historic relics, along with causing mass starvation and even cannibalism — yes, cannibalism, let that sink in. The US is fully capable of doing exactly the same thing in the name of “the people” the proletariat, “equality” etc.

And yet, for what? It was all for nothing. Chasing fools gold that will never lead one to any happiness, it’s just more of the same. There was no wisdom, or moral high ground, just confusion that your political system was the cause of your unhappiness. It’s not.

Jessica
Jessica
27 days ago

Love it, Love it, Love it. I am filled with optimism this morning.

Ballardite
Ballardite
27 days ago
Reply to  Jessica

Me to!

CD Born n Raised
CD Born n Raised
27 days ago

CD’s black roots are still trying to be restored after being redlined and blackballed. But we’re getting there. I do not think Bruce was the right fit. I voted Lorena as did my wife. I am a black member of the CD and have lived here with 4 other generations back. My grandpa worked Boeing in the 60s. My family members knew Harrell well. I did not think this day would ever come honestly. I do hope he does not give SPD more money. Or if he does, he gives it to mental health handlers and crisis workers and not average cops who wear Blue Lives Matter flags on their car. I also hope the CD becomes BLACK again with black businesses up and down the block. I long for that dream! I am happy about Jerk Shack and others!

Jacob
Jacob
27 days ago

Did Jerk Shack move to the CD?

CD Born n Raised
CD Born n Raised
27 days ago
Reply to  Jacob

New location is opening soon.

Jeremiah
Jeremiah
27 days ago
Reply to  Jacob

Expanding to a second location at the mid town center.

SeattleCitizen
SeattleCitizen
27 days ago

Perhaps I should hope the CD becomes Jewish and Japanese again? What a racist comment you made. Hoping for one color in a part of town!

CD Born n Raised
CD Born n Raised
26 days ago
Reply to  SeattleCitizen

Seeing something that isn’t there. Jewish people being kicked out is bad too. I don’t mind more Jewish shops but you must understand that black people were redlined to ONLY THIS AREA. Jewish people could move to other parts of Seattle (not everywhere). Black people had no choice. Then they kick us out and drive up property taxes to do so. You should really visit the Colman school sometime and learn the actual history. Black businesses in the CD is a very good thing. We need to restore Africatown and build up black capital when BIPOC face so many disadvantages. Black people still facee those disadvantages today where the Jewish population experiences some racism but not close to the destruction black people and coastal Salish have…

Bulldog Family
Bulldog Family
26 days ago

Black Seattleites were redlined to this area for a relatively short time ending over a half century ago. The CD was never, has never been an all-Black neighborhood. As someone with 30 years in the CD, I’ve witnessed the shift from an acknowledgment of the CD’s broadly diverse and often problematic history to a full-fledged reimagining of it as… Africatown? It’s bizarre and untrue. The only groups who were actually kicked out of the neighborhood were the Native Peoples and the Japanese. Direct your ire about this always-changing neighborhood toward property owners, often Black, who have reaped huge profits and left of their own choosing. Change marches on.

The CD’s own Bruce Harrell, someone who literally embodies the neighborhood’s history and diversity, is now mayor-elect. I for one am glad.

D3 Resident
D3 Resident
25 days ago
Reply to  Bulldog Family

The most racist comment I’ve seen in some time. Congrats Bulldog. Boy I hope you move out of my city,

Kevin
Kevin
25 days ago
Reply to  D3 Resident

I might not be one of the “seeing everything through a racist lens” crowd… Maybe you studied the widely ridiculed, hugely controversial Critical Race Theory… What exactly did Bulldog say that is “the most racist comment”? That he pointed out other minorities lived in CD or black families can benefit financially from gentrification or a neighborhood keeps changing? All seems factually true.

Glenn
Glenn
27 days ago

And in the delightful realm of unintended consequences, it is deliciously ironic to savor the fact the Lorena Gonzalez created the law which prohibited corporations such as Amazon from contributing to our local elections, thus ensuring her defeat. With Amazon out of the picture, Seattle voters felt free to vote as they would have two years ago if Amazon hadn’t dumped millions into the election. So, they voted for the more moderate agenda and more moderate candidates. Which means Lorena is out.

No thanks
No thanks
27 days ago

Ugh, I was not excited about either candidate. Lorena has had her chance to fix the underlying causes of homelessness and crime as a member of the majority progressive SCC since 2015 and has failed to do so. Why would I ever expect her to be more successful as mayor? But Harrell seems like an idiot. This year I found myself having to vote against people instead of for anyone. Seattle supposedly has a lot of really smart citizens, but none seem to be running for office.

CKathes
CKathes
26 days ago
Reply to  No thanks

Harrell is at the very least a small improvement over Durkan, and listening to him in interviews I get the sense he’s persuadable on some progressive goals. Sure, we could have done better, but we could also have done a lot worse.

SeattleGeek
SeattleGeek
26 days ago

There’s an interesting story when you look at which precincts turned out this election and which precincts didn’t.

Kevin
Kevin
26 days ago

Most of us in Seattle will be jubilant that the ultra Leftist experiment in Seattle and across the country is over.

I hope to see how more concrete actions and help for the poor, the underprivileged, the minorities in terms of better schools, better economic upward mobility, health care, better public spaces and parks and safety. No more cringe-worthy preach of “systemic racism”, “defunding police” from white woke Progressives living in Madison Park while people in Little Saigon, Chinatown, South Seattle suffer from homeless, crime waves and drug addicts.

If Democrats still don’t listen and talk past their consistuents, expect a much bigger wave in 2022. You might not see it in the Seattle progressives bubble, minority voters (esp Latino and Asian, even some Blacks) are moving across to GOP, because they are sick of being used as a racism prop… And frankly they hate homelessness because why would they need to work hard while white drug addicts get government handout and free housing?

D3 Resident
D3 Resident
24 days ago
Reply to  Kevin

1. There hasn’t been any leftist government in any part of the country really. Like what 5-6 reps of 450 in Congress? Council people and aldermans aren’t that influential in policy or power. 2. Doubt many from Madison Park at protests. And systemic racism is VERY REAL. Who would say it’s not? Weird post.

Privilege
Privilege
23 days ago
Reply to  Kevin

You should really watch less Fox News.