Seattle’s mayoral race is the hottest ticket in the August primary as 21 candidates filed to try to succeed outgoing Mayor Ed Murray.

Share story

Seattle voters will have no shortage of choices to replace outgoing Mayor Ed Murray when the August primary rolls around.

Twenty-one candidates filed in the race by the Friday 4:30 p.m. deadline — the most in any King County contest.

The roster includes former Mayor Mike McGinn, former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan, state Rep. Jessyn Farrell, state Sen. Bob Hasegawa, educator and attorney Nikkita Oliver, and urban planner Cary Moon — and more than a dozen others.

The city’s first open-seat mayoral contest since 1997 was spurred by Murray’s decision to forgo his re-election bid amid allegations — which he has strongly denied — that he sexually abused teenagers decades ago.

“Seattle is exploding, in terms of influence … it’s a place that many people want to put their imprint on, and we’re seeing that in the caliber of the candidates running for mayor,” said Marco Lowe, a Seattle University politics professor and former aide in the mayoral administrations of McGinn and Greg Nickels.

The top two vote-getters in each race in the Aug. 1 primary will advance to November’s general election. With the crowded mayoral field, candidates could advance with support in the high teens or low 20s, Lowe said.

Voting in the all-mail primary will begin July 14.

Two at-large Seattle City Council seats also are up for grabs.

The most competitive one looks to be the race to replace retiring City Councilmember Tim Burgess.

Eight candidates filed in that race: labor leader Teresa Mosqueda, housing activist Jon Grant, brewery owner and former City Council aide Sara Nelson, local NAACP leader Sheley Secrest, civil-rights activist Charlene Strong, physician Hisam Goueli, Ballard resident Rudy Pantoja, and Mac McGregor, a former martial arts competitor who hopes to become the first transgender council member.

In the city’s other council race, incumbent M. Lorena González decided against running for mayor, and she is seeking re-election. Six candidates filed to challenge her, including Pat Murakami, president of the South Seattle Crime Prevention Council; and Ty Pethe, a Seattle Central College employee and union leader.

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes also drew a significant challenger in Scott Lindsay, an attorney who has spent the past three years as public-safety adviser to Murray. Both will advance to the November general election.

In the Eastside’s crucial 45th Legislative District race — expected to decide partisan control of the state Senate — Democrat Mankha Dhingra and Republican Jinyoung Englund got no last-minute competition from their own parties, but Woodinville resident and teacher Parker Harris filed as an independent.

King County Executive Dow Constantine, seeking a third term, drew no big-name opponents. Challenging him are three perennial office-seekers: Bill Hirt, who opposes Sound Transit’s Eastside light-rail expansion; disbarred attorney Stan Lippmann; and Goodspaceguy, who favors space colonization but opposes a terrestrial minimum wage.

King County Sheriff John Urquhart is facing a challenge from a 32-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, Mitzi Johanknecht, who holds a major’s rank and commands the department’s southwest precinct.

Among five Metropolitan King County Council members seeking re-election, only two drew any opponents. North Bend attorney John Murphy filed to challenge incumbent Kathy Lambert, who represents the northeast portion of the county. And Renton resident Denice Carnahan filed against Reagan Dunn, who represents the southeast part of the county.

In Bellevue, two-term City Councilman Kevin Wallace is not seeking re-election. He has endorsed Jared Nieuwenhuis, a marketing executive who has served on the city’s parks board. Also filing for the seat: immigration attorney Karol Brown and Bellevue resident Heidi Chiat.

In Port of Seattle races, several candidates are vying for an open seat left by Commission President Tom Albro’s decision to not seek re-election.

Candidates to succeed Albro include: John Persak, a longshoreman and union leader; Fernando Martinez, who leads a nonprofit aiding minority-owned businesses; Preeti Shridhar, deputy public affairs administrator for the city of Renton; former Seattle City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck; and perennial candidate and attorney Richard Pope.

Port commission incumbent John Creighton is seeking a third term. He has drawn three challengers: Bea Querido-Rico, a strategic planning program manager for the port; Ryan Calkins, who works for a nonprofit that helps low-income people start businesses; and Claudia Kauffman, a former state senator who is intergovernmental-affairs liaison for the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe.

A full list of all candidates who filed in the county can be viewed online at King County Elections.