Durkan wins race for Seattle mayor; Moon concedes

Jenny Durkan is projected to win the race for Seattle mayor with 60 percent of the votes as of Wednesday afternoon.

KIRO 7 News called the race on Tuesday. After crunching the numbers, we determined contender Cary Moon would need to win more than 61 percent of votes outstanding, based on expected turnout.

Durkan maintained her lead with the second-round of results on Wednesday. The next round of results will drop about 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.

>> Find results for all races here 

Durkan earned her law degree from the University of Washington School of Law and served as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington under President Barack Obama from October 2009 through September 2014. Moon is an urban planner and engineer best known for her activism against the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel.

"It's been a great journey," Durkan said after results dropped on Tuesday. "I trust the people of Seattle ... I trust us to show the other Washington how we can put progressive values to work, [and] to show we are a better place than [President] Donald Trump says we are."

Moon conceded to Durkan on Wednesday through a statement.

"l have offered my congratulations to Jenny Durkan, Seattle's first woman mayor in 90 years," Moon said. "I urge her to boldly confront the challenges facing our city and to remember that Seattle's prosperity should provide shared opportunity and success for everyone, not just the wealthy few."

Currently, former councilman Tim Burgess is serving as interim mayor after Ed Murray resigned amid sexual abuse allegations earlier this year. The new mayor will take office once results are confirmed later this month rather than traditionally taking office in January.

Here are views from both Durkan and Moon on six key issues in Seattle

Mayor's race headlines 

Seattle homeless sweeps and services 


"We have to be compassionate, but we have to be smart," Durkan told KIRO 7 earlier this year.

Durkan promises to make these three things happen if elected:

•  To build 1,000 tiny homes
•  To get every part of the city to participate in solutions
•  Get more revenue for mental health treatment and services


“It's expensive, and it's one-on-one and you have to develop trust and build a relationship with folks to help them to come inside,” Moon said.” But it is essential to do it.”

Moon promises to make these three things happen if elected:

• More tiny houses and sanctioned encampments
• Stop the sweeps
• To get funding at the county and state level for mental services

Watch video to hear from both candidates on this issue; scroll down to keep reading. 

New taxes in Seattle


Durkan supports the recently passed Seattle high earners income tax -- if it's upheld -- but said the money should be used to give a tax cut to lower-income residents so the tax is revenue neutral.




Asked if Seattle is overtaxed, Durkan said, “I don't hear anyone regretting that they voted for the things they care about -- transit, schools and parks. But what they do want to know is those tax dollars are being used wisely. And that's the job of the mayor to make sure that happens.”

Durkan claims that she does not want new taxes, but she's considering making an exception for mental health treatment and addiction services. Here's what she said about exploring additional revenue services, including property taxes.


Moon said she is ready to tackle the challenges of housing affordability as mayor, but she also believes there will need to be additional funding for mental health treatment and addiction services.

“We absolutely have to start developing more progressive taxes so that the wealthy are paying their fair share for the infrastructure and the services we all need to thrive,” Moon said.




Moon believes the city should raise money through progressive taxes rather than a regressive one like property taxes. Moon's progressive taxes proposal includes taxing vacant properties -- something Durkan is also considering -- and increasing taxes on the sale of luxury real estate. Read more about Moon's tax idea here.

What about the head tax?

Background: Councilmember Mike O'Brien and Councilmember Kirsten Harris-Talley proposed a $100-per-employee tax for big businesses like Amazon.


Durkan said as she agrees with O’Brien’s policies, but how the city should pay for those policies is another question. She said the city needs be careful for small businesses, because many taxes they pay are considered regressive.

“I think we have to look more deeply at it and look at whether you can do an approach that gets at what you want,” Durkan said.


Moon applauds O’Brien and Harris-Talley for proposing a “bold new tax that generates revenue to fund the services we know we need to fund.”

“It’s a starting point,” Moon said. “I don’t think the math is quite right yet because we have to make sure that we are only capturing large businesses, and the small retailers who have high sales volume but low profit margins are going to get caught in this trap -- so I don’t think we have the numbers just right.”

Watch video to hear from both candidates on this issue; scroll down to keep reading. 

Transportation and traffic


Asked about traffic problems, Durkan said, “It's not just traffic, it's everything from the potholes, which have gone too long and not tended, to making sure the lights are timed so people can get through.”

On her campaign website, Durkan lists the following:

  • Accelerate light rail expansion by working with Sound Transit to expedite the planning, design
  • Improve bus service by working with Metro to explore options for making bus fare free for all young people under 18 years old
  • Effectively implement and improve the Bicycle Master Plan and the Center City Bicycle Network
  • Ensure adequate resources are dedicated to needed upgrades to sidewalks in underserved communities

Moon believes the city must expand bus service, rail lines and bike lanes as alternatives to driving.

“Some people do need to drive,” Moon said. “So the more we can invest in transit and alternatives for the folks who don't need to drive. Then we leave space on the streets for people who do have to drive and for deliveries and freight which are essential.”

On her campaign website, Moon lists the following:

  • Increasing access to light rail and bus transit
  • Making our streets safe for all users
  • Centering access to jobs and freight mobility

Free college for residents


Durkan believes the city should pay for two years of community college tuition for any graduate of a Seattle public high school.

"Almost one of three kids of color don't go to college at all and we want to really change that dynamic," Durkan told KIRO 7.

Durkan's proposal would build on a smaller program already providing scholarships. She estimates it would cost less than $5 million the first year, and $7 million the second -- with no new taxes needed.


In a statement, Moon called Durkan's plan "not enough."

Moon's campaign said the city needs to secure new revenue for higher education through "progressive funding sources such as a statewide tax on capital gains for households earning more than $250,000 and a tax on luxury real estate."

Moon's campaign also said the city must "invest in education from cradle to college" and "address inequity in Seattle education at its root causes."

Policing accountability



If elected mayor, Durkan promises to increase police accountability. She supports Initiative 940 requiring de-escalation training and making it easier to prosecute police who misuse deadly force.

Durkan wants alternatives to jailing young people, but also supports rebuilding the aging youth detention center.

Durkan said she would keep police chief Kathleen O’Toole, as long as the chief stays accountable.

Watch video about Durkan talking about this issue; scroll down for Moon's take.


Moon believes the Charleena Lyles police shooting means Seattle must work harder at change.

“We need to keep up the anti-racist training across the city in every community and every city department including the Police Department because we have got to do better,” Moon said.

Moon would also keep O’Toole as long as she’s accountable.