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Incumbent Holmes concedes in race for Seattle City Attorney, Thomas-Kennedy leads

Pete Holmes (left), Nicole Thomas-Kennedy (center), and Ann Davison (right).

The race for Seattle City Attorney in the August primary has been a close one since the first ballots dropped, then incumbent Pete Holmes dropped out of the race last Friday.

“After two decades of public service to Seattle — the last 12 as your City Attorney — it’s time to acknowledge that my opponents will be advancing to the general election,” Holmes wrote in a statement released Friday evening.

Until Friday, Ann Davison had maintained a slight lead over Holmes and challenger Nicole Thomas-Kennedy in the race for Seattle City Attorney, but Thomas-Kennedy took the lead on Friday afternoon.

Thomas-Kennedy has 36.36% of the vote as of Tuesday’s update, followed by Davison with 32.73% and Holmes with 30.65%.

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In his statement, Holmes said he has five months left as City Attorney, “and I don’t intend to waste them.”

Holmes announced his bid for a fourth term in early February, and for the months that followed, he appeared to largely be running unopposed. Davison and Thomas-Kennedy threw their hats in the ring just before the city’s late-May filing deadline.

Davison cites the need “to have a sense of public safety” as one of her primary reasons for deciding to run for public office for the third time in as many years.

On Thomas-Kennedy’s campaign website, she outlines her priorities to decriminalize drugs and sex work, defund the police department, tax the wealthy, and end the prosecution of misdemeanors committed from “circumstances of poverty.”

The top two candidates — Davison and Thomas-Kennedy — will advance to the general election.

“After facing one candidate who considered my criminal policies too lax and another who considered them too draconian, it’s clear Seattle’s a city with fractured views, sadly reflective of the polarized politics that grips our nation,” Holmes wrote in his concession statement. “Whether the Republican candidate or the Abolitionist candidate prevails in November, they’ll face a truly daunting set of challenges, not least of which includes protecting the City from an avalanche of litigation arising out of the Durkan administration, and a thousands-deep criminal case backlog wrought by the pandemic closure of our courts.”

Holmes also thanked his supporters, donors, Democracy Voucher holders, campaign team, and the voters who selected him to represent them in the three citywide elections. He then closed his statement by congratulating his opponents and wishing them the “best of luck” in the general election.

“With a city of so ideologically splintered, whoever wins will certainly need it,” Holmes wrote.

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