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Seattle has never seen a mayoral primary quite like this year’s topsy turvy affair.

In Episode 42 of The Overcast, the Seattle Times weekly politics podcast, we size up the 21-candidate race.

This week we recorded at the Seattle studios of public radio station 88.5 KNKX.

Joining reporters Jim Brunner and Dan Beekman for a fast-moving electoral gabfest are two local political experts: Monisha Harrell, a Seattle political consultant and board chair of Equal Rights Washington, and Marco Lowe, a politics professor at Seattle University and former aide in two mayoral administrations.

They look at who among the six top contenders are likely to advance past the Aug. 1 primary and into the November general election. Could it be Jenny Durkan, the dominant fundraiser from an old Seattle power family? Can former Mayor Mike McGinn revive his political base and get back to City Hall?

Will experience in the Legislature give an edge to Jessyn Farrell, from north Seattle, or Bob Hasegawa, from Beacon Hill? Or could activists Cary Moon or Nikkita Oliver energize voters in new ways?

Harrell and Lowe lay out the scenarios for each contender – and look at the ultimate wildcard, the possibility that Mayor Ed Murray, who dropped his reelection bid amid sexual-abuse claims, could jump back in as a write-in candidate.

Also explained: why this election could be like a grocery store jam aisle, why we could have a second consecutive all-Irish general election, and which candidates may covertly appeal to the wee-est slice of Seattle voters: Republicans.

Thanks this week to KNKX reporter Simone Alicea for shepherding the studio recording.

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Find and listen to past episodes of The Overcast here, and check out other Seattle Times podcasts here.

Send us your feedback and your nominations for next week’s winner and loser in local politics. Leave a comment on this post, tweet at us (@Jim_Brunner and @DBeekman), email us ( or drop us a voicemail at 206-464-8778.