Local Democratic group stops short of endorsing candidate for Seattle mayor
The 34th Legislative District Democrats voted last week on a series of endorsements, opting not to make a decision on the race for Seattle mayor.
The group represents West Seattle, White Center, Vashon Island, and Burien, among other areas west of the Duwamish River, throwing its support behind candidates in local elections that it believes best represent Democratic Party values.
Its 2021 decisions were voted on as part of a nearly five-hour virtual session last week, doling out endorsements to Teresa Mosqueda and Brianna Thomas for Seattle’s two at-large council races, Pete Holmes for City Attorney, and Dow Constantine for King County Executive.
Curiously, the group’s tally committee did not come to a consensus on an endorsement for Seattle mayor. That decision came after representatives for each major candidate spoke for two minutes to make their case.
“I’m trying to represent the diversity of our beautiful city, and lead with compassion and good values,” said Bruce Harrell, former city council president and current mayoral candidate.
“I’ve never run for office, but I’m running for mayor because I believe Seattle is ready for transformational change,” stated Colleen Echohawk, homelessness advocate and current fundraising leader.
Speaking on behalf of current Council President Lorena Gonzalez, Councilmember Lisa Herbold — whose district includes West Seattle — praised her colleague for having “the experience we need to deliver for our progressive values.”
“She has spent her entire career standing up for people without a voice, and protecting our most vulnerable,” Herbold said about Gonzalez.
In order for a candidate to score an endorsement from the 34th District Democrats, they needed over 60% of votes from the tally committee. The initial vote included Gonzalez, Harrell, Echohawk, Jessyn Farrell, Lance Randall, and Andrew Grant Houston, with Gonzalez and Harrell taking the first two spots at 35% and 24%, respectively.
A second runoff vote between the top two candidates had Gonzalez sitting just below the required threshold at 58%. That left one more vote to determine whether the group would offer a dual endorsement for both Gonzalez and Harrell, or no endorsement at all, with the latter option ultimately winning out by a slim 138-134 vote margin.
You can see the full list of endorsements here.