By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
By LISA BAUMANN
SEATTLE (AP) — In a Seattle mayoral race that will give the booming liberal city its first female mayor since the 1920s, former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan has taken a strong early lead.
Ninety-one years after Seattle elected Bertha Knight Landes as mayor, early returns Tuesday showed Durkan had captured more than a 20-point lead with nearly 61 percent of the votes tallied in the all-mail election. Urban planner Cary Moon had just over 39 percent.
“Now, I know there’s a lot of votes left to be counted,” Durkan told supporters. “But I have to tell ya we’re feeling really, really good about where we are.”
She also had a message for the president of the United States whose policies she vocally opposed during her campaign: “Can I just say, Donald Trump, keep your hands off Seattle.”
Ballot counting will continue over the next several days.
Voters were choosing between Durkan, 59, or Moon, 54, to lead this city, dealing with the benefits and problems of an economy booming for some more than others as e-commerce giant Amazon expands.
The two-woman matchup came after former Mayor Ed Murray, who had been expected to easily win re-election, dropped his efforts amid accusations of sexual abuse by multiple men. He resigned in September after a fifth accuser came forward.
Mike Fong, Chief Operating Officer for the King County Executive said, “Seattle sent a strong message in decisively electing Jenny Durkan our next mayor. Her experience and track record of getting things done is what we need now to fix some of our city’s most difficult challenges.” Fong was Murray’s chief of staff before joining King County.
Washington’s 45th Legislative District
In another Washington contest, the Democrat took a strong lead in a state Senate race that will determine the balance of power at the Washington Capitol. If the results hold, Washington will join Oregon and California with Democratic one-party rule in both legislative chambers and the governor’s office.
Manka Dhingra was leading Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund with 55 percent of the vote Tuesday night. Republicans, with the help of a Democrat who caucuses with them, currently control the Senate by a single seat. Democrats hold a slim majority in the House.
“Manka’s victory underscores the political impact of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,” said former Washington Governor Gary Locke. “Not only can we swing the electorate, we are increasingly running for office and winning. We are grateful for the work of the AAPI Victory Fund. Washingtonians will now have a government that will focus on issues ranging from education to expanding benefits and services to the middle-class and those most vulnerable to the regressive policies of the Trump Administration.”
The race for the 45th District, one of eight special elections for the state Legislature this year, has broken all previous legislative spending records in the state because of the significance of the outcome. As of Monday, more than $8.7 million had been spent on the race, with much of it — about $5.9 million — being spent by third-party groups.
Dhingra, a 43-year-old senior deputy prosecuting attorney with the King County Prosecutor’s Office, was born in India, and her family moved to the U.S. when she was a teen. She oversees therapeutic alternative courts for the mentally ill and veterans and founded a nonprofit to address domestic violence in the area’s South Asian community.
Englund, who is Korean American, was previously a staffer for U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington as well as for The Bitcoin Foundation, a digital currency advocacy group, and worked on projects for the military.
The two political newcomers were seeking to serve the last year of a four-year term left vacant by last year’s death of Republican Sen. Andy Hill. The winner will need to run again in 2018.
Legislative District 48, Representative Position 1 — Incumbent Vandana Slatter takes the lead with 72 percent of the votes.
King County Executive — Dow Constantine has won a third term — with 75 percent of the votes.
Sheriff — Incumbent John Urquhart is trailing Mitzi Johanknecht — 48 percent to 52 percent.
Proposition No. 1 — Approved 66%, Rejected 34%
Port of Seattle
Commissioner Position 1 — It’s a tight race between John Creighton and Ryan Calkins. Calkins is trailing 49 percent to Creighton’s 51 percent.
Commissioner Position 3 — Stephanie Bowman beat opponent Ahmed Abdi with 67 percent of the votes.
Commissioner Position 4 — Peter Steinbrueck is far ahead of Preeti Shridhar with 63 percent of the votes.
City of Seattle
City Attorney — Pete Holmes has won another term. He got 73 percent of the votes.
Council Position 8 — Teresa Mosqueda leads with 62 percent of the votes. The seat was vacated by Tim Burgess who is serving as mayor after Ed Murray resigned.
Council Position 9 — M. Lorena Gonzalez is well ahead of opponent Pat Murakami, with 68 percent of the votes.
Director District 4 — Eden Mack crushed opponent Herbert J. “Camet, Jr.” with 86 percent of the votes.
Director District 5 — Zachary DeWolf defeated Omar Vasquez — 61 percent to 39 percent.
Director District 7 — Incumbent Betty Patu gets to keep her job. She got 64 percent of the votes.
City of Bellevue
Council Position 2 — Incumbent Conrad Lee has 69 percent of the votes counted.
Council Position 4 — Jared Nieuwenhuis has 54 percent.
Council Position 5 — Janice Zahn has 59 percent
City of Federal Way
Council Position 4 — Hoang Tran is ahead with 52 percent of the votes.
City of Kent
Council Position 2 — Satwinder Kaur is ahead with 55 percent of the vote.
City of Kirkland
Council Position 7 — Uzma Butte was defeated by incumbent Jon Pascal, 74 percent to 25 percent.
City of Mercer Island
Council Position 6 — Benson Wong is winning with 65 percent of the votes.
City of Shoreline
Council Position 1 — Jin-Ah Kim has lost her bid to Keith McGlashan — 40 percent to 60 percent.
Council Position 5 — Susan Chang has won with 76 percent of the votes.
Ruth Bayang contributed to this report.