Jenny Durkan won wide swaths of Seattle in the Aug. 1 primary for mayor, precinct-level data shows. Cary Moon carved out some strongholds. We examine the candidates’ results, the voters’ turnout, what it all might mean in the general election.
Jenny Durkan won nearly two-thirds of Seattle precincts in the Aug. 1 mayoral primary, carrying neighborhoods all over the city while performing best in wealthy areas with water views — and high voter turnout.
Some neighborhoods, such as Capitol Hill, Fremont and Wallingford, also proved to be strongholds for Durkan’s general-election opponent, Cary Moon, according to new precinct-level data.
And the data indicate Moon may pick up voters who backed third-place primary finisher Nikkita Oliver. In some areas where Oliver did well, Moon also did well and Durkan less well.
Turnout in Seattle was the highest for an off-year primary in at least two decades, surpassing 40 percent. The average for the previous nine was under 32 percent.
The neighborhood with the highest turnout was Montlake, which Durkan won with 40.5 percent of the vote.
More women voted than men citywide, and more seniors than millennials. People 65 and up accounted for 25 percent of the electorate, while voters 18 to 34 accounted for 23 percent. The median age was 50.
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- Jenny Durkan defeats Cary Moon to become Seattle’s first woman mayor since the 1920s
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- Cary Moon: Urbanist, waterfront activist touts vision for city, faces questions about résumé, accomplishments
- Jenny Durkan: Former U.S. attorney brings experience, high-powered allies, but also draws scrutiny
- Seattle’s first — and only — female mayor was elected in 1926
In the top-two, nonpartisan primary with 21 candidates on the ballot, Durkan was the first-place finisher, taking 27.9 percent, followed by Moon with 17.6 percent and Oliver with 17 percent. Jessyn Farrell captured 12.5 percent, Bob Hasegawa 8.4 percent and Mike McGinn 6.5 percent.
A former U.S. attorney, Durkan won 613 of 981 precincts, according to King County Elections data released Wednesday, including all but eight precincts touching the shores of Lake Washington, Puget Sound and Elliott Bay.
Voting maps in close Seattle elections usually include an outer ring of support and an inner core, with business-backed candidates taking the ring and activist candidates the core.
In keeping with the pattern, Durkan’s power centers included Laurelhurst, Queen Anne, Magnolia and View Ridge — water-view neighborhoods where turnout was high.
In addition to Capitol Hill, Fremont and Wallingford, Moon also won multiple precincts in the Central District and Ballard, carrying 119 across the city.
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Though Oliver earned fewer votes than Moon, an urbanist known for opposing the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel, Oliver took more precincts, winning 201.
But fewer ballots were cast in some of the neighborhoods where Oliver led the way. Strongholds for the educator and attorney included Beacon Hill, Chinatown International District, Rainier Valley, Rainier Beach and the University District — neighborhoods with more young people and people of color.
There were ties between candidates in 28 precincts.
In an interview Wednesday with KUOW-FM (94.9), Oliver said she would vote for Moon in the Nov. 7 election, “given the options.” But she stopped short of endorsing Moon.
Also crucial could be an endorsement decision by Farrell, a former state representative with strength in Northeast Seattle, where she had been elected before.
Even across Northeast Seattle, Durkan carried most precincts, so Moon might need a Farrell endorsement to be competitive there in the general election.
Farrell won 12 precincts citywide. Hasegawa, a state senator and former labor leader, won five — but none north of the Lake Washington Ship Canal. Hasegawa mined his native Beacon Hill for support.
McGinn, who served as mayor from 2010 to 2014, failed to win a single precinct.