Wash. Primary 2017: Races We're Watching

Aug 1, 2017

Results continue to come in for this year's primary election.  

Last updated at 4:40 p.m. on Wednesday, August, 2, 2017.

KNKX is keeping an eye on several races around the Puget Sound region. We'll be updating this page as results become available. Given the state's vote-by-mail process, outcomes may change over the next few days. 

City of Seattle, Mayor

The King County Election results released on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. show  Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon the top two candidates and Nikkita Oliver a close third.

Jenny Durkan: 31.5 percent 

Cary Moon: 15.7 percent

Nikkita Oliver: 13.8 percent

What was initially viewed as a sleepy race ignited after a lawsuit was filed against incumbent Mayor Ed Murray accusing him of sexually abusing a teenage boy in the 1980s. 

Murray dropped out of the race, opening the door for a wave of candidates. There are now 21 people looking to lead the state's largest city

With these latest numbers, 104,635 ballots have been counted. The results include ballots collected Tuesday night from King County ballot drop boxes and ballots received in the mail on Wednesday.

City of Seattle, City Council At-Large Positions 8 & 9

According to early returns, Teresa Mosqueda and Jon Grant are the top two candidates with Sara Nelson in a close third position. The top two will advance to the general election.

Teresa Mosqueda: 31.1 percent  

Jon Grant: 24.2 percent

Sara Nelson   23.3 percent

Position 8 is being vacated by Tim Burgess, who announced last year he would not seek re-election. He and Council President Bruce Harrell are the longest-serving sitting council members.

Burgess has been seen as a moderate or even conservative voice on an increasingly progressive city council. None of the eight candidates vying for his seat have experience in an elected public office.

The Seattle City Council is made up of two citywide positions and seven district positions. Only the at-large seats are up for election in this primary.

According to early returns, incumbent City Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez will face off against Pat Murakami in the general.

Lorena Gonzalez: 61.3 percent

Pat Murakami: 20.3 percent

King County Executive

Incumbent Dow Constantine faces three challengers: Bill Hirt, Goodspaceguy and Stan Lippman. Hirt has said he doesn't expect to win the race. The main point of him entering the contest was to drop more attention to his Stop East Link Now blog. 

According to early returns, Constantine will move on to the general election facing Hirt.

Dow Constantine: 74.7 percent  

Bill Hirt: 14 percent

Legislative District 45 (Kirkland, Duvall, Sammamish), State Senator

According to early results, Republican Jinyoung Englund and Democrat Manka Dhingry will face each other in the general election.

Jinyoung England: 42 percent

Manka Dhingry: 51 percent

This seat was former Republican Sen. Andy Hill's seat before he died late last year. Republican Dino Rossi was appointed to fill the position on an interim basis, but said he would not run to keep the position.

The seat is important because it could shift the balance of the state Legislature. If a Republican is elected, that status quo will stay the same. But if a Democrat wins, the Republicans lose their majority in the senate, and the Democrats will control both chambers.

This election is only to fill the remainder of Hill's term, so whoever wins will have to run again in 2018.

King County, Proposition 1 (Sales Tax For Cultural Access Program)

This ballot measure is failing with 55 percent of voters rejecting the proposal.

The ballot measure would have increased the countywide sales tax by a tenth of a percent for seven years to pay for arts and cultural programs. The money would be intended to go to a variety of organizations and make the programs more accessible, particularly for low-income children.

Some opponents question whether the funds would be distributed equitably. Others also say the sales tax is regressive and will hurt the populations its trying to help. Still others worry about tax fatigue.

City of Tacoma, Mayor & 3 City Council Positions

Tacoma's city government includes eight city council members, three citywide and five district positions, and the mayor, who acts as a kind of president of the council.

Three city council positions along with the Mayor's office are up for grabs in Tacoma. There are no incumbents in any of the races, which means about half of the council is going to change.

Mayor Marilyn Strickland and two city council members are term-limited, so they couldn't run for re-election. City Council Member Victoria Woodards gave up her seat to run for mayor. Former Deputy Mayor Lauren Lee Walker was appointed to fill Woodards' position, but declined to run for election.

According to early results, Woodards and architect Jim Merritt will move on to the general election.

Victoria Woodards: 36.3 percent

Jim Merritt: 40.8 percent

New faces on the city council could really impact the way the city deals with major issues such as environmental concerns over a planned liquefied natural gas facility, a growing homelessness problem and the city's relationship with a federally run detention facility.

Five candidates are running to fill Woodards' old seat, an at-large position. Lillian Hunter and Meredith Neal will move on to the general election in this race, according to early results. Three candidates are running to represent District 4 on the southeast side of the city. Early returns show Catherine Ushka and Kevin Grossman will advance to November. Five people are vying to represent District 5 in southern Tacoma. As of Wednesday morning, Chris Beale and Brian Arnold will face off in the fall's general election.

City of Everett, Mayor

With long serving Everett Mayor, Ray Stephanson, retiring, the race to replace him is hotly contested. The top three contenders are in a virtual tie. According to the latest results released Wednesday afternoon:

Cassie Franklin 30.7 percent

Judy Tuohy 30 percent

Brian Sullivan 29.8 percent