Labor leader Teresa Mosqueda and housing activist Jon Grant each staked a large lead in the race for Seattle City Council position 8 after a round of ballot returns were released on Monday.

Mosqueda led with 32 percent, and Grant earned 27 percent.

Fremont Brewing Owner Sara Nelson (22 percent) conceded on Thursday after Grant significantly widened his lead for the second spot, sitting about 3,500 votes ahead of Nelson.

"I said from the beginning that even if I lose, I will have started a conversation in Seattle and these results demonstrate that there is a place for the voice of small business in Seattle politics," Nelson said in a statement. "Hopefully, this conversation will continue over the next two years and inspire other like-minded folks to run for a district seat in 2019. If so, I say Mission Accomplished.

Incumbent M. Lorena Gonzalez swept position 9 with 64 percent of the vote, followed by Pat Murakami (19 percent).

Eight candidates are vying for position 8, which is currently held by Tim Burgess. Other candidates in the crowded race include Hisam Goueli, Mac McGregor, Rudy Pantoja, local NAACP leader Sheley Secrest, and civil rights advocate Charlene D. Strong.

Considered one of the most moderate members on council, Burgess announced in December he would not seek a fourth term.

The open race has become a pricey one, totaling more than $600,000 in individual contributions. Additionally, more than 250,000 was raised in independent expenditures; that's the outside spending that cannot be coordinated with the candidate.

Money raised:

  • Mosqueda raised more than $192,000 in individual contributions
  • Working families for Teresa Mosqueda (outside spending) raised more than $108,000
  • FUSE VOTES (outside spending) for Mosqueda raised nearly $10,000 for Mosqueda
  • Grant raised more than $175,500 in individual contributions
  • Nelson raised more than $144,000 in individual contributions
  • People for Sara Nelson (outside spending) raised more than $120,000, mostly from the Seattle Chamber's political action committee
  • Master Builders raised more than $11,000 for Sara Nelson

Mosqueda, Grant and Goueli opted into Seattle's new Democracy Voucher program, in which registered voters received $100 in vouchers to donate to a candidate of their choice.

The first-of-its-kind program put a lower fundraising cap on participating candidates. But the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission lifted the cap in July after Nelson, who is not participating in the Democracy Voucher program, surpassed the amount in private fundraising.