There are a large number of out LGBTQ candidates in this year’s Seattle municipal/King County and Washington State primary elections. The Seattle Mayor’s race included out lesbian attorney Jenny Durkan while the race for the open seat on the Seattle City Council includes a trans man, a lesbian activist and a gay Muslim doctor/burlesque performer.
But, it was mixed bag of results for those candidates. Durkan easily coasted to a first place finish in the race for Seattle mayor. She had the backing of the Seattle Times and numerous endorsements from labor organizations and big name politicians like former governor Christine Gregoire. With over 30% of the vote and her first place finish, Jenny Durkan will be on the November ballot.
“I’m grateful and humbled by the support of so many voters across the city. We couldn’t have achieved this without our grassroots campaign and the broad coalition that we built over the last twelve weeks. We visited neighborhoods and communities across the city, and contacted more than 35,000 voters on the phones and at their doors.
“For those who didn’t support me, I’ll work hard to earn your support. I love this city and will be a leader that listens to all communities, brings people together, and gets things done. For decades, I’ve been on the front lines fighting for civil rights, criminal justice reform, and police accountability. As mayor, I will fight everyday to put our progressive values into action to keep Seattle a home to all.
“Our campaign is about together creating a stronger, more equitable and more affordable Seattle. I’ve proposed specific solutions to address the urgent challenges of homelessness, affordability, transportation, police reform, and climate change. It takes experienced leadership to lead a city of our size and complexity, and to transform policies and goals into systemic change. I have a proven record of such leadership in Seattle over many years. I also am uniquely qualified to fight the attacks on our city from Trump and his administration — because I have already done it.
“As the final votes are counted, I look forward to facing either candidate and having a dialogue focused on the issues.”
And, it will definitely be a two woman race for Seattle Mayor in November with Cary Moon the likely contender against Durkan with her second place finish and nearly 17% of the vote. The grass roots politician was endorsed by Seattle’s weekly alternative newspaper, The Stranger but with some dissent from some of the younger members on staff who favored the third place finisher, the progressive socialist candidate, Nikkita Oliver who currently has not quite 15% of the vote. Oliver has not yet conceded in the race. The 4th place finisher was also a woman; Jessyn Farrell with 12.44% of the vote. Former mayor Mike McGinn who was defeated by current mayor Ed Murray in the previous 2013 mayoral race finished sixth after Bob Hasegawa, who serves in the Washington Statehouse in Olympia. This year’s mayoral race featured 21 candidates and became a free for all after current mayor Ed Mayor pulled out of this year’s race after he was accused of decades old sexual assault charges.
Meanwhile, the race for open Seat #8 on the Seattle City Council which is a city wide seat featured those three LGBTQ candidates who didn’t fair very well in the primary which was clearly won by Teresa Mosqueda, a seasoned political veteran who had the backing of party leaders. She won the primary with nearly 32% of the vote.
Her challenger in November will be housing rights activist Jon Grant who had over 25% of the vote and the backing of The Stranger.
The highest LGBTQ candidate was lesbian activist Charlene Strong who finished 5th in the race. Muslim doctor and part time burlesque performer Hisam Goueli finished 7th and trans activist/martial artist teacher Mac McGregor finished last.
McGregor issued this statement on Friday, August 4th:
Thank you to all who were a part of my campaign. Those who volunteered, donated, helped spread the word, cheered us on, and encouraged. I was a 1st time candidate and wow did I learn a great deal. I met so many great people and heard their concerns about our city and living in our city. I was also doing this so grass roots that I did not have a campaign manager until 5 weeks ago and he could only work the last 4 weeks. I am also proud that I pledged to and did not take donations from developers and corporations because I wanted to represent the individual citizens. It was a tough run with 8 people running for the same seat and many of them good people, I think we all learned a great deal. We made history and learned so we do this better next time. I’m not finished. I did not become a champion by giving up. I will be working to for rights for the marginalized, the working folks, the renters, and continue learning. I will also be working to help the best people left in the race win.
Goueli conceded on Wednesday, August 2nd with this statement:
Although I will not advance to the general election, I believe running for Seattle City Council was a wonderful experience and I would not change it.
I had an opportunity to visit every part of Seattle, meet inspiring people, create friendships with candidates, develop innovative and pragmatic policies, learn the complexities of city government, reconnect with friends from my entire life, hone my fundraising skills and … most importantly … fall in love with Seattle all over again.
I hope the candidates that move to the general will remember that you have the power to dramatically improve people’s lives and give them the dignity they deserve. Please do not waste any moment to do good. Seattle and I are depending on you.
-Dr. Hisam Goueli
He followed up on Thursday by supporting Teresa Mosqueda:
I give my full support to Teresa Mosqueda for Seattle City Council Position 8. She is the right candidate and will give my patients the voice they need in local government. Vote Teresa in the general election.
– Dr. Hisam Goueli
But, one other gay candidate in Seattle did have a positive finish. Zachary DeWolf easily won his primary race for position 5 on the Seattle School Board with nearly 46% of the vote. He’ll face Omar Vasquez in November. DeWolf made this statement on Thursday:
Today’s ballot drop is great news for the campaign – we’ve got a plurality of the votes for District 5. I am #grateful for meeting and learning from parents/families, students, teachers, advocates, neighbors, leaders, and friends about their needs for a school board director – and especially thankful for the voters who believe in and support me. looking forward to the general election and the fight ahead for high-quality public education.
The next results will be released at 4:30pm on Friday, August 4th.
Tags: Cary Moon, Hisam Goueli, Jenny Durkan, LGBT Candidates, Mac McGregor, Seattle City Council, Seattle Elections, Seattle Mayor, Seattle Municipal Election 2017, Seattle School Board, Teresa Mosqueda, Zachary DeWolf