South Dakota’s governor took a swipe at Seattle during a speech on the third night of the Republican National Convention — and Mayor Jenny Durkan immediately responded on cable television.

Gov. Kristi Noem, speaking at the convention meant to boost President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, warned viewers about “the Democrats and their radical supporters.”

“From Seattle and Portland to Washington and New York, Democrat-run cities across this country are being overrun by violent mobs. The violence is rampant. There’s looting, chaos, destruction and murder,” she said.

Durkan appeared immediately afterward on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

“Her caricature of the great cities across America is not only wrong, it’s purposefully wrong. I think she needs to get off Twitter and get off Fox News and come see our city,” the mayor said about the idea that Seattle, where business continues, is being “overrun.”

“Our violent crime is down 5% this year … people are not leaving Seattle. In fact, our housing prices continue to increase and the people moving here are young families.”

The Seattle Police Department recorded 2,542 violent crimes through July this year, down from 2,683 for the same period last year. The department recorded 26 homicides through July, up from 18 in the same period in 2019.


Two people were fatally shot in the vicinity of a Capitol Hill protest site this summer and a protester died after being hit by a driver on Interstate 5, which was closed at the time. There have been some instances of property destruction and clashes with officers. Many more people have participated in nonviolent demonstrations against racism and police brutality. Durkan has taken heat over officers using tear gas and dangerous projectiles against crowds.

In her Maddow interview, Durkan said Trump is trying to distract voters from his lack of leadership on the COVID-19 pandemic and civil rights. “Seattle is a great city” with “innovative employers” and the “best workforce,” she said.

Earlier Wednesday, Noem said on Fox News that “no mother” would want to raise her children in cities like Seattle or Portland. Durkan said she would not have raised her sons “anywhere else.”