Cary Moon again extended her lead over Nikkita Oliver in Thursday returns as they vied for second place in Seattle’s top-two mayoral primary.

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Cary Moon extended her lead over Nikkita Oliver in Thursday’s returns as they vied for second place in the primary election for Seattle mayor and a spot in the Nov. 7 general election.

Moon’s advantage over Oliver in the crowded, 21-candidate race is now 2,578 votes, up from 1,978 in Wednesday returns.

2017 Seattle mayoral race

The urban planner’s share of the vote grew from 15.7 percent to 16.7 percent, while Oliver’s share grew from 13.8 percent to 14.9 percent, as about 40,000 additional ballots were counted.

The top two finishers in the nonpartisan primary will advance.

While former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan held onto first place, her share of the vote fell from 31.5 percent Wednesday to 30.2 percent.

Former state Rep. Jessyn Farrell saw her share of the vote edge up slightly, to 12.4 percent.

Ballots will continue to be counted for several days. Results will be certified Aug. 15.

In a statement, Moon hailed the Thursday returns but again stopped short of claiming victory over Oliver, an attorney and educator.

She also took a swipe at Durkan, who’s endorsed by prominent business groups, Mayor Ed Murray and several City Council members.

“I’m encouraged that close to 60 percent of Seattle’s primary-election voters chose one of the five leading candidates who was not backed by big corporations and City Hall insiders,” Moon said.

Oliver’s campaign had no comment Thursday.

In past Seattle elections, late ballots have helped candidates running left of their opponents.

Leading up to the primary, turnout looked low. By Thursday, however, 39 percent of Seattle registered voters had returned ballots. That’s the best turnout for an off-year primary election in at least 20 years.

Machine recounts are mandatory when candidates are separated by fewer than 2,000 votes and also less than 0.5 percent of the total votes cast for both candidates. Manual recounts are mandatory when the gap is fewer than 150 votes and also less than 0.25 percent of the total votes cast for both candidates.

Candidates also can request recounts.

Information in this article, originally published Aug. 3, 2017, was corrected Aug. 9, 2017. A previous version incorrectly stated the circumstances under which a manual recount would be mandatory.