The political fate of three-term Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes hung by a thread after a relatively small number of votes counted Wednesday kept him in a close race against primary election challengers who have hammered at his public-safety record from the right and the left.
Ann Davison, a Republican who ran for lieutenant governor last year, remained in first place with about 35% of the Aug. 3 primary vote. Holmes had 33% and Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, a former public defender, had 32%. Only two will advance to the general election in November.
Davison has criticized Holmes over rising crime, arguing his office has shirked its duty to prosecute misdemeanor offenses. Thomas-Kennedy is a self-described abolitionist who wants to halt most prosecutions in Seattle.
Roughly half of all votes are reported on Election Day. The rest are tallied in the ensuing days.
There were not enough votes tallied Wednesday — about 33,000 countywide and about 15,000 in Seattle — to definitively determine the outcome in the city attorney contest, nor to change the positioning in other races.
Wednesday’s vote count was small because it takes time to process the flood of ballots that come in through the mail and from drop boxes on Election Day, said Halei Watkins, a King County Elections spokesperson.
A larger tally is expected Thursday and most ballots should be counted by Friday, though the election won’t be formally certified by the county until Aug. 17, Watkins said.
In the week before Election Day, Holmes signaled that his reelection effort was in trouble, abruptly lashing out at his challengers in a series of statements, tweets and interviews.
On Wednesday, the incumbent was waiting for more votes to be added and was unavailable for comment, said campaign consultant Christian Sinderman, who held out hope that Holmes would squeak past the primary.
“We’ve seen squeezes in the past in Seattle races,” Sinderman said. “We’ve also seen narrow escapes.”
Asked about her chances, Davison said: “I am touched by the support and I think it really shows we don’t want four more years of the same thing.”
In the Seattle mayoral race, M. Lorena González gained less than a percentage point on Bruce Harrell. Harrell had 38% and González had 29%. They will advance to the general election. Colleen Echohawk remained distant in third place, though her share ticked up slightly to 9%.
Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda retained her 55% advantage in the council’s Position 8 contest, leading Kenneth Wilson with 18% and Kate Martin with 13%. Sara Nelson gained less than a percentage point in the council’s Position 9 race. She led with 43%, while Nikkita Oliver had 35% and Brianna Thomas had 14%.
In the race for King County executive, incumbent Dow Constantine led challenger Joe Nguyen, 54% to 30%, after Wednesday’s count.
The results in three King County Council races were basically unchanged; incumbents Pete von Reichbauer, Kathy Lambert and Reagan Dunn each led, with Lambert looking most vulnerable. She had 41%, while challengers Sarah Perry and Joe Cohen had 34% and 24%, respectively.
King County’s six-year, $872 million tax measure for youth programs, Best Starts for Kids, maintained a 59% mark Wednesday.