Still haven’t filled out your ballot? Need information fast? Review our coverage of key races in Seattle, the Eastside and Snohomish County.

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Whether you’re a newcomer or a native, your vote will affect the region’s future. High-stakes contests are on the ballot, including who will become the next mayor of Seattle; an Eastside state Senate race that could determine the balance of power in Olympia; a King County measure to raise your taxes to pay for services for veterans, vulnerable populations, and seniors.

If you still need to read up on those races and others, we’re here to help. Take a few minutes to check out key stories from this season’s political coverage from more than a dozen Seattle Times journalists.

Use the links below for races that matter to you most. Remember, ballots must be postmarked or dropped in official election-office dropboxes by Nov. 7.

Seattle Mayor | Seattle City Council | Seattle City Attorney | Seattle School Board45th Legislative District | Port of Seattle | Proposition 1: King County Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy | King County Sheriff | King County Council | Bellevue City Council | Snohomish County Council | Voter & Ballot Information


 

Seattle Mayor

Seattle mayoral candidates Jenny Durkan, left, and Cary Moon participate in a Sept. 12 debate at Seattle University. (Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times)
Seattle mayoral candidates Jenny Durkan, left, and Cary Moon participate in a Sept. 12 debate at Seattle University. (Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times)

Last year, political pundits believed Ed Murray would easily win reelection to a second term as Seattle mayor. But sex-abuse allegations prompted Murray to resign.

His departure led to a crowded August primary that included 21 candidates vying to lead the Northwest’s largest city. When the dust settled, former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan and urban planner Cary Moon were left standing.

The race between the two has at times been heated. The pair had a war of words over their wealth and Moon rejected the hypothetical of working in a Durkan administration.

Voters are weighing the candidates’ positions on the city’s most pressing issues: affordable housing, growth, homelessness, and transportation.

Read more about the Seattle mayoral race:

QUIZ: Seattle mayoral matchmaker: Which candidate shares your views?

Seattle’s millionaire mayoral candidates say they know what it’s like to struggle

Jenny Durkan, Cary Moon: final battlegrounds, strategies in the drive to be Seattle mayor

Beyond tent-camp ‘sweeps,’ big questions await next Seattle mayor

Which ex-rivals would Seattle mayoral candidates hire? Nikkita Oliver’s on the short list

Durkan’s backers spend $500,000 for ad blitz as Moon’s campaign is in the red

Best answer to Seattle affordability may win the race for mayor

Jenny Durkan: Former U.S. attorney brings experience, high-powered allies, but also draws scrutiny

Cary Moon: Urbanist, waterfront activist touts vision for city, faces questions about résumé, accomplishments

Latest stories on the mayor’s race

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Seattle City Council

The candidates running for Seattle City Council Position 8 are wrestling over the future of the American left.

And in Position 9, a second term incumbent is defending her seat from a South Seattle neighborhood activist.

Teresa Mosqueda, left, and Jon Grant (Courtesy of candidates)
Teresa Mosqueda, left, and Jon Grant (Courtesy of candidates)

Position 8: Teresa Mosqueda and Jon Grant advanced to the November election in a hotly contested primary that focused on police reform, testing out Seattle’s first-in-the-nation “democracy vouchers,” and a battle between labor and small business.

The rival candidates for Position 8 — a citywide seat vacated by Tim Burgess — hold similar positions on most issues. The two even teamed up last year on an effort to raise the statewide minimum wage, for example, with Mosqueda leading the bid and Grant working for her as an organizer.

But their race has grown increasingly fierce in the run-up to the Nov. 7 election, with the candidates clashing over Seattle’s housing challenges and their supporters debating the significance of race, gender, wealth and campaign donations.

 

M. Lorena González, left, and Pat Murakami (Courtesy of candidates)
M. Lorena González, left, and Pat Murakami (Courtesy of candidates)

Position 9: They list many of the same priorities, but beyond that, incumbent M. Lorena González and challenger Pat Murakami agree on little else as they battle for the Seattle City Council’s at-large Position 9 seat.

González, a civil-rights attorney and former legal adviser to ex-Mayor Ed Murray, was overwhelmingly elected in 2015 to serve a two-year term after voters approved a new council model with seven district representatives and two citywide ones. She has since approached her at-large position — on the ballot again this year to align with the four-year election cycle of mayor and city attorney — from a top-down, big-picture perspective.

Her opponent is Murakami, a longtime South Seattle activist and businesswoman, has earned her civic-engagement chops at the neighborhood level, leading community groups and championing local causes that, at times, have broader city impact.

Read more on the Seattle City Council races: 

Housing at center of fierce Seattle City Council campaign fight between Jon Grant, Teresa Mosqueda

Public safety, homelessness dominate Seattle council race between M. Lorena González, Pat Murakami

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Seattle City Attorney

Scott Lindsay, left, and incumbent Pete Holmes  (Courtesy of candidates)
Scott Lindsay, left, and incumbent Pete Holmes (Courtesy of candidates)

The contest for Seattle city attorney has become cantankerous and personal.

Where challenger Scott Lindsay sees a broken, dysfunctional criminal-justice system, incumbent Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes sees a high-performing office that’s taking on cutting-edge legal battles and winning.

Lindsay, the former public-safety adviser to ex-Mayor Ed Murray, said Holmes lacks the vision to work with the city’s municipal court, police department, City Council and mayor to construct new harm-reduction strategies to improve public safety while addressing the connected issues of homelessness, addiction and property crime.

Read more:

Well-oiled machine or rudderless ship? Seattle city attorney candidates see office differently

Seattle mayor adviser Scott Lindsay challenges Pete Holmes for city attorney

Money paid to law firms draws scrutiny from challenger in Seattle city attorney race

No, Seattle doesn’t have the nation’s highest rate of property crime

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Seattle School Board

The John Stanford Center on South Lander Street is the headquarters of Seattle Public Schools.
   (Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times)
The John Stanford Center on South Lander Street is the headquarters of Seattle Public Schools. (Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times)

Newly-elected Seattle School Board members will lead a district that has a budget shortfall, a superintendent whose contract is ending and a student population with one of the nation’s worst racial disparities in achievement.

Six candidates are campaigning for three open seats on the seven-member board.

Eden Mack, left, and Herbert Camet Jr. (Courtesy of candidates)
Eden Mack, left, and Herbert Camet Jr. (Courtesy of candidates)

District 4: In the race to represent Belltown, Queen Anne, Magnolia and Ballard, longtime parent activist Eden Mack is running against Herbert Camet Jr., who has worked as a teacher and principal.

Mack is a volunteer advocate who has served as the legislative chair for the Seattle Council PTSA and says to do the job “you need to have the ability to work effectively with other people with civility and respect, even when you don’t agree.”

Camet, who has worked in schools in the United States, the Middle East and Asia, has criticized Mack’s contributions and endorsements and described her as a corrupt candidate and fraud.

Zachary DeWolf, left, and Omar Vasquez (Courtesy of candidates)
Zachary DeWolf, left, and Omar Vasquez (Courtesy of candidates)

District 5: In the district that includes downtown, the Central District, Chinatown International District and a part of Capitol Hill, the two men vying for the post — Zachary Pullin DeWolf and Omar Vasquez — are in their 30s and have no children.

DeWolf says he has dedicated his life to public service, including his involvement with organizations like the Pride Foundation, Seattle Housing Authority and Peace Corps. He hopes to be an advocate for vulnerable students, including those who are homeless.

Vasquez, who has teaching experience, says his business and tax-law credentials give him a keen ability to understand complex documents and financial issues for the district.

Incumbent Betty Patu, left, and Chelsea Byers  (Courtesy of candidates)
Incumbent Betty Patu, left, and Chelsea Byers (Courtesy of candidates)

District 7Only one race has an incumbent: Betty Patu is running for a third term in Southeast Seattle’s District 7 against Seattle newcomer Chelsea Byers.

If elected, Patu would be the only board member with more than two years of experience, which she says would be an asset. In her eight years on the board, she says she is most proud of when the board established the Racial Equity Policy in 2012, launched the African American Male Initiative and changed school start times to better align with students’ sleep schedules.

Byers said the board needs to come up with more innovative ways to close the achievement gap and the way to do that is through new board members with different ideas. Byers pointed to her experience in STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — fields as a strength she would bring to the board.

Read more about the Seattle School Board races:

Unprecedented Seattle School Board race features two men in their 30s who don’t have kids

District newcomers face long odds against front-runners in two Seattle School Board races

Seattle School Board opens search for new superintendent

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45th Legislative District

45th District state Senate candidates Manka Dhingra, Democrat, at left, and Jinyoung Lee Englund, Republican, during an October debate at Microsoft in Redmond. (Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times)
45th District state Senate candidates Manka Dhingra, Democrat, at left, and Jinyoung Lee Englund, Republican, during an October debate at Microsoft in Redmond. (Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times)

The contest between Democrat Manka Dhingra and Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund in the Eastside’s 45th District will likely determine whether a GOP coalition keeps its one-vote edge in the state Senate — or whether Democrats claim both chambers in the Legislature as well as the governor’s office.

Those stakes have drawn the kind of money and attention that usually elect people to Congress, not to a part-time state Legislature that pays $47,776 a year. The two candidates and the independent political spending groups have so far raised or spent more than $8.5 million.

The car is king on the Eastside, with auto-centric issues driving much of the 45th District state Senate race. Seattle politics and gun regulations have also been been debated in this race.

Read more about the 45th District race:

$8.5 million and counting: Eastside Senate race between Manka Dhingra and Jinyoung Englund sets spending record

Trump victory helped propel Eastside Democrat into high-stakes Senate race

GOP state Senate candidate targets Seattle ‘extremism’ in her 45th District race

Both 45th District Senate candidates want lower car-tab fees but differ on I-405 tolls

Trump, taxes, Seattle politics debated as state Senate candidates meet in Redmond

Meet the district that could change Washington state’s political landscape

Former VP Joe Biden endorses Manka Dhingra in Eastside’s Washington state Senate race

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Port of Seattle Commission

Six candidates are running for three spots and the job of overseeing Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, local port and cruise-ship terminals, and other properties, such as conference centers and marinas.

King County voters will have to decide whether to change leadership at the Port, which has overseen growth in its business but also public-trust controversies, including the departure of the former CEO who gave himself a secret pay raise.

Here’s a look at who’s running.

Incumbent John Creighton, left, and Ryan Calkins (Courtesy of candidates)
Incumbent John Creighton, left, and Ryan Calkins (Courtesy of candidates)

Position 1: This Port of Seattle race pits longtime board member John Creighton against Ryan Calkins, a former small-business owner whose company was long a customer at the Port.

Among the differences between Creighton and Calkins are how to handle Chris Hansen’s proposal for an NBA arena in Sodo; the best way to plan for future growth at booming Sea-Tac; and how to levy Port taxes on local property owners.

 

Incumbent Stephanie Bowman, left, and Ahmed Abdi (Courtesy of candidates)
Incumbent Stephanie Bowman, left, and Ahmed Abdi (Courtesy of candidates)

Position 3: Board member Stephanie Bowman is running for re-election against Ahmed Abdi, a progressive who fought for minimum-wage increases.

Bowman serves as the executive director of the nonprofit Washington Asset Building Coalition, which serves economically disadvantaged residents. Bowman says her biggest accomplishment was co-leading the effort to merge the ports of Seattle and Tacoma earlier this decade. A former Port of Tacoma employee, she said the effort has reduced competition between the two ports.

Abdi, outreach manager for the Fair Work Center, is a refugee from Somalia and Kenya who came to the United States in 2009. After working for $9 an hour at a chicken plant in Kansas City, he moved to the Seattle area, went to college and helped fight for the $15 minimum wage in SeaTac. He now sits on the board of the Seattle Housing Authority.

Peter Steinbrueck, left; Preeti Shridhar (Courtesy of candidates)
Peter Steinbrueck, left; Preeti Shridhar (Courtesy of candidates)

Position 4: Renton city official Preeti Shridhar and former Seattle Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck will battle it out in the Nov. 7 election for the sole open seat on the Port of Seattle Commission.

The contest, to replace departing commission President Tom Albro, features two candidates with backgrounds in local city government who are keen on creating jobs and protecting the environment. But here’s where Shridhar and Steinbrueck differ on key issues.

Read more about Port of Seattle races:

Planes vs. trains and a tussle over property taxes in Port of Seattle Position 1 race

Port of Seattle’s Position 3 race pits incumbent Bowman vs. newcomer Abdi

Port of Seattle election preview: Peter Steinbrueck vs. Preeti Shridhar for open Position 4

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King County Sheriff

John Urquhart, left, and Mitzi Johanknecht.  (Courtesy of candidates)
John Urquhart, left, and Mitzi Johanknecht. (Courtesy of candidates)

It’s one of nastiest political races in King County in years.

Sharp words have defined the Nov. 7, nonpartisan race between incumbent Sheriff John Urquhart and Major Mitzi Johanknecht. Both are vying to lead the King County Sheriff’s 1,100 employees and oversee service to unincorporated King County, Metro and Sound Transit agencies, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, King County International Airport/Boeing Field and 10 cities and two towns.

Urquhart, 69, who has been with the Sheriff’s Office for nearly 30 years, many as its media spokesman, became sheriff after a special election for the open seat in 2012. He faced no challengers in the regular election for the seat in 2013, winning a four-year term. He’s currently under a cloud of controversy with Election Day nearing: an ex-deputy says Urquhart made an unwanted sexual advances, and a woman who has accused Urquhart of raping her years ago just got a temporary protection order against him. Urquhart denies the sexual-assault allegations.

Johanknecht, 58, joined the Sheriff’s Office in 1985. She became a captain in 1998 and has spent time in supervisory roles in field operations, patrol operations, technical services and special-operations divisions. She has led two precincts and was the first full-time female deputy to lead TAC-30, the Sheriff’s Office’s SWAT team, a position to which she was appointed by Urquhart.

Both have deep roots in the Seattle area, including schooling at the University of Washington. Urquhart lives on Mercer Island with his wife; Johanknecht in West Seattle with her wife.

Read more:

‘This was hush money’: Ex-King County deputy’s $160,000 settlement lacked proper oversight

Woman who accused King County Sheriff Urquhart of rape now says he offered to share her medical records

Candidates trade sharp words in race for King County sheriff

Candidate for King County sheriff erroneously claimed endorsement from Rep. Reichert

 

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King County Council

The incumbents have the overwhelming campaign money and the name familiarity in the races for King County executive and two County Council seats. One challenger is in it to bring attention to a single issue; the two others hope their doorbelling will pay off.

Incumbent King County Executive Dow Constantine lists his campaign balance at $1.6 million, according to the Public Disclosure Commission.

His opponent is Bill Hirt, 78, a retired Boeing engineer. His campaign balance is $0.

“I take no contributions. The only money I’ve spent is the filing fee ($2,258.71 for that particular office),” Hirt says. “I have no desire to win.”

It’s a similar scenario in two Metropolitan King County Council races, where incumbents Reagan Dunn and Kathy Lambert are competing against underfunded challengers Denice Carnahan and John Murphy.

Read more:

In this election, hope — more than money — drives King County executive, council challengers

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Bellevue City Council

 

For the last year, Bellevue City Council hearings have been colorful and sometimes unruly spectacles — citizens talking back to City Council members, breaking rules of order, opponents of an issue wearing purple, supporters wearing red.

The issue animating Bellevue politics is a proposed 100-bed emergency homeless shelter — the first permanent men’s shelter on the Eastside — in the Eastgate neighborhood. Other key issues for Bellevue City Council include affordable housing, education, and transportation.

Read more:

Proposed homeless shelter takes center stage in Bellevue elections

Bellevue City Council race will pit Nieuwenhuis against Brown


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Proposition 1: King County Veterans, Seniors and Human Services Levy

King County Proposition 1 is a renewal of a 2005 levy that will help veterans, vulnerable populations and, for the first time, seniors. Proposition 1, though, is double the size of the previous measure, at roughly $354 million over six years.

Voters are being asked to approve a 10-cent property tax for every $1,000 of assessed property value, instead of the previous 5-cent levy. That’s about $28 more per year for a $450,000 median-priced home, according to the Yes for Vets and Human Services campaign.

There has been no organized opposition to the levy renewal, though at least two King County councilmembers — who ultimately agreed to put the proposal on the ballot — raised concerns that voters have tax fatigue.

History: First passed in 2005 and renewed in 2011. The current levy expires Dec. 31.

Cost: 10-cent property tax for every $1,000 of assessed property value, double the current amount.

How much will the levy generate: Roughly $354 million over six years.

What it does: Connects veterans, seniors and vulnerable populations, including the homeless, to an array of services, including help finding housing.

What’s new: If passed, the new levy will include funding for seniors.

Read more:

King County voters to decide fate of levy for veterans, seniors, homeless

King County’s median $450,000 house? Prop. 1 campaign has it right

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Snohomish County Council

Candidates running for Snohomish County Council in the 2017 election. Top row, left to right, Terry Ryan, Nate Nehring, Kristin Kelly; bottom row, left to right: Marcus Barton, Ray Miller, Sam Low.  (Courtesy of candidates)
Candidates running for Snohomish County Council in the 2017 election. Top row, left to right, Terry Ryan, Nate Nehring, Kristin Kelly; bottom row, left to right: Marcus Barton, Ray Miller, Sam Low. (Courtesy of candidates)

Three of the five Snohomish County Council positions are on the Nov. 7 ballot. And if there is one thing all candidates can agree on, it is that growth, and all its side effects, are being felt from the King County line to the Skagit County line, from Puget Sound to the Cascades.

All the candidates this November want to help the county deal with creating infrastructure to match growth and development. How exactly that happens is where the differences arise. Read our rundown of the District 1, District 4 and District 5 races.

More on the Snohomish County Council races:

Growth, traffic, opioid epidemic dominate campaigns for Snohomish County Council

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Voter & Ballot Information

Need to register to vote? Lose your ballot? Looking for a dropbox? We’ve got answers.

If you’re hoping to register to vote online or by mail, you’re out of luck, the deadline has passed.  But if you hurry to your county elections department by Monday, you can register in person. King County voters can register at the county’s election offices in Seattle and Renton. Snohomish County voters can register at the Auditor’s Office in Everett.

If you’ve spilled your coffee on your ballot, or think it’s been lost in the mail, Snohomish County asks you to call 425-388-3444. King County allows voters to print out their ballots here.

Completed ballots can be mailed with a first-class stamps and should be mailed and postmarked by Election Day. For last-minute procrastinators, King County voters can drop off their ballots at more than 50 locations mapped here. Snohomish County voters can drop off their ballots at these sites.

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