Seattle’s primary race for mayor showed a clear leader and two women behind her in close contest for the November general election.

Initial results from the Tuesday, August 2 primary election showed three Seattle women in the lead to head to the general election, meaning it is almost assured the city will have its first female mayor in 90 years.

Former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan took 27.96 percent of the votes as of Wednesday, August 9, with a voter turnout of 40.28 percent.

“I think people believe in the city, believe in the vision that we’re spelling,” Durkan said about advancing to the general election, “and believe we can be that inclusive city of the future.”

Cary Moon, who topped the ballot for mayor, trailed Durkan with 17.63 percent of the vote, or 32,384 votes. Moon led the People’s Waterfront Coalition opposing the Highway 99 tunnel and is an urban planner and activist, who is pledging to make housing affordability her major focus if elected mayor.

“Seattle’s voters won’t let the future of our city be sunk by status quo thinking and politics as usual,” Moon said in an official statement on the primary. “There is too much at stake. We look forward to the next few days of returns from King County elections.

Shouts of “Nikkita” rang out as Nikkita Oliver took the stage upstairs in Washington Hall around 9 p.m. Tuesday. She would finish with 16.89 percent of the vote, just 1,300 votes shy of catching Moon.

“Tonight is about celebration. It’s about looking at the work that we’ve done and acknowledging the power of our movement,” Oliver said. “We often say, ‘When we organize, we win.’ But what I say is, ‘When we organize, we thrive.’”

Leading the People’s Party of Seattle, Oliver said her campaign raised more than $130,000 without accepting corporate funds. She gave credit to the people in the room for pushing the issues that have dominated the mayoral race, such as racial and gender equality, housing affordability and homelessness.

“We cast our stone across the water to make many ripples,” Oliver said. “That is how you build a movement.”

The organizer, lawyer, teacher and spoken-word artist said even if she doesn’t proceed to the general election, the movement will continue.

“When we leave this room, our mandate is to keep organizing,” she said.

Helping staff Oliver’s primary party on Tuesday were members of the Queers 4 Nikkita group, which formed back in May.

“The fact that she was in the race before anyone else, I think, is just a huge marker for what she stands for,” said Queers for Nikkita member Brad Horst.

Oliver entered the race in March, before allegations of child sex abuse overshadowed Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s reelection bid. Murray announced he wouldn’t run again two months later, and soon the ballot had 21 mayoral candidates.

“I think — given both sort of nationally and locally — how we’ve seen politics as the same sort of ideas, the same class of ideas,” Horst said. “I think, Nikkita, it comes from the community; she has community support — wide community support.”

Former mayor Mike McGinn finished with just 6.5 percent of the vote as of Tuesday night, trailing former Washington Sen. Bob Hasegawa, who had 8.62 percent, or 7,526 votes.

McGinn addressed his supporters at Plum Bistro on Capitol Hill, taking aim at front-runner Durkan.

“I think I’ve said in the past I’m concerned about the amount of corporate money going to Jenny Durkan,” he said. “Her status quo agenda will not allow Seattle to move forward. I think the people voted for some new, young, progressive candidates and they’ll be carrying the torch.”

With Durkan, Moon and Oliver holding an early lead, it appears Seattle will have its first female mayor since the first female mayor Bertha Knight Landes, who served from 1926 to 1928.  

Council Position 8

Teresa Mosqueda holds the lead for Seattle City Council Position 8, with 31.6 percent of the vote or 53,420 votes. Mosqueda is the Washington State Labor Council political and strategic campaign director and a Queen Anne resident.

Mosqueda chaired the Healthy Washington Coalition and served two terms on Washington’s Exchange Board, the governing body for the Affordable Care Act.

“Our campaign is about making Seattle a city that works for every one,” Mosqueda said in a primary election statement. “Our movement is about making sure that those who work in Seattle — those who stock the grocery shelves and library racks, take care of elders and kiddos, write the code in our city, build our buildings, clean our hotels, and for those who create the art and culture in our city — all can afford to live and retire here, and create a city that reflects our diversity and progressive values.”

Ex-Tenants Union executive director Jon Grant had 26.84 percent of the early returns on Tuesday, or 45,366 votes. Grant previously advanced to the general election when he went up against Councilmember Tim Burgess in 2015. Burgess decided against a reelection bid this year.

Fremont Brewing owner Sara Nelson had 21.53 percent of the vote.

"Today’s count shows that while we ran a strong campaign, we are going to finish a little bit short," Nelson states in her news release. "Because it is unlikely that I will be able to make up sufficient votes in subsequent drops to proceed to the general election, I am conceding the race."

Access for All

King County voters narrowly rejected King County Proposition 1, with 50.96 percent turning it down. Less than 8,000 votes decided the issue with 33.64 percent voter turnout.

Prop 1 would have generated an estimated $70 million per year to expand people’s access to arts, science and heritage education through a 0.1 percent sales tax increase. Proponents had argued the tax increase amounted to about $3 per month for an average household.

About 350 organizations would benefit from Prop 1’s passage, including Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Symphony, Pacific Science Center and the Museum of Flight, which all would expand free and low-cost ticket and membership programs, and increase their outreach efforts.

Ryan Murray and Joe Veyera contributed to this story