A few months ago, the 2017 Seattle Mayor’s race was looking to be a bit humdrum with an incumbent, out gay politician Ed Murray seeking re-election and not a particularly strong field opposing him. But, Murray was accused of sexual abuse of a minor in an incident from 30 years and despite his claims he is innocent, the resulting controversy caused him to ultimately pull out of the race. With the race now wide open, several new candidates have emerged including the city’s mayor prior to Murray, Mike McGinn as well as 20 other candidates who filed before last Friday’s deadline.
Others running include activist/attorney Nikkita Oliver, urban planner Cary Moon, Washington State Rep Jessyn Farrell, Washington State Senator/labor leader Bob Hasegawa and former U.S. Attorney JENNY DURKAN, an out lesbian attorney/activist who reportedly became the first openly gay U.S. Attorney in 2009.
Durkan has an impressive background as a “behind the scenes” fixture in state Democratic Party politics but she may have problems winning the hearts of progressive Seattle. The 58 year old was a white collar criminal defense attorney before joining the Justice Department and she was a key player in getting former moderate governor Christine Gregoire elected.
Today, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund endorsed Durkan for the 2017 Seattle Mayor’s race, one of nine candidates nationally endorsed by the group.
From the press release:
Victory Fund Endorses Nine LGBTQ Candidates;
Seattle Mayoral Candidate Jenny Durkan Receives Spotlight Endorsement
Washington, DC – Today Victory Fund, the only national organization dedicated to electing LGBTQ leaders to public office, endorsed nine candidates in state and local races. Jenny Durkan, running to be mayor of Seattle, received a spotlight endorsement, and if elected would become the first lesbian mayor of Seattle and just the second woman. Spotlight Endorsements are given to candidates especially well-positioned to breakdown barriers and drive equality forward.
“We have a historic opportunity to elect Jenny Durkan the first lesbian mayor of Seattle – and just the second lesbian mayor currently representing a major U.S. city,” said Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, President & CEO of Victory Fund. “LGBTQ mayors are leading the resistance by welcoming immigrants and refugees, standing with Muslim communities and implementing protections for trans students in schools. Those are Seattle values, and those are Jenny’s values. As mayor she will fight tirelessly to implement policies that mitigate the effects of Trump administration extremism for the people of Seattle.”
Among the other endorsees are five LGBTQ candidates running for New York City Council, including incumbent Corey Johnson, that could nearly double its LGBTQ representation. Elvin Garcia is running against an anti-LGBTQ incumbent and a victory would be a powerful statement that intolerance is inexcusable in New York City. Mel Wymore would become the first openly trans person to sit on the city council if elected. Victories for either Mel Wymore or Kristen Browde, a trans woman running for New Castle Town Supervisor, would make them the first trans people ever elected in New York State.
In Atlanta, city council candidate Kirk Rich joins an already impressive slate of LGBTQ Atlantans – including mayoral candidate Cathy Woolard and city council president candidate Alex Wan. Victories for these LGBTQ leaders would make Atlanta a model of progress the entire South can aspire to.
Jenny Durkan, Mayor of Seattle
Kristen Browde, New Castle Town Supervisor (NY)
Kevin Carroll, New York City Council, District 43 (NY)
Elvin Garcia, New York City Council, District 18 (NY)
Dylan Schwartz, New York City Council, District 51 (NY)
Mel Wymore, New York City Council, District 6 (NY)
Kirk Rich, Atlanta City Council, District 6 (GA)
Jim McClurken, Lansing City Council, Ward 4 (MI)
Corey Johnson, New York City Council, District 3 (NY)
Since 1991, Victory Fund has helped thousands of openly LGBTQ candidates win local, state and federal elections.
Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund
The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund works to change the face and voice of America’s politics and achieve equality for LGBT Americans by increasing the number of openly LGBT elected officials at all levels of government.
Voting in this year’s primary election will begin July 14, 2017 with a deadline of August 1, 2017. As per Washington State law, it wil be an all-mail in primary election. The top 2 vote getters in each race will advance to the general election in November.