Former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan and urban planner Cary Moon will face off for Seattle mayor in the November general election.
Durkan continued to hold a wide lead after new returns were released Monday afternoon, but didn't pick up as many votes in the later returns. The front runner now sits with just over 28 percent of the vote, or 51,073 votes total with around 99 percent of the vote counted.
Moon comfortably held onto her second place spot (32,001 votes; 17.6 percent).
Nikkita Oliver narrowed the gap slightly over Friday (30,337 votes; 16.68 percent); a margin of 1,664 votes now separate Moon and Oliver. It's highly unlikely she would be able to catch up with so few ballots left to be counted.
However, a campaign spokesperson said Friday Oliver is not conceding, in large part because the campaign has begun pursuing contested ballots with signature challenges.
It's estimated there are around 1,800 challenged ballots remaining in Seattle, according to a spokeswoman with King County Elections.
"As the final votes are counted, I look forward to facing either candidate and having a dialogue focused on the issues," Durkan said in a new statement on Friday.
Both Durkan and Moon said they support Oliver's efforts to address the outstanding ballot challenges. Moon said she's not yet claiming a spot in the general election.
Moon released the following statement when Friday's returns were released:
Seattle’s voters won’t let the future of our city be sunk by politics as usual, as shown by the shrinking percentage of votes for the establishment's candidate, now below 30%. With 90% of votes counted we are gaining on the other general election candidate, and we remain a full percentage point ahead of the third place candidate.
However, we are not claiming a spot in the general election today. I share Nikkita Oliver campaign's concerns that ballots of first time voters, infrequent voters, and those who face language barriers, are more frequently contested than others. That's why I'm encouraging my supporters to work with the Oliver campaign to contact voters whose ballots are contested (sign up form).
OIiver's campaign has mobilized and inspired thousands of people. Rushing forward to claim a decisive outcome while some ballots are in limbo would only create distrust. As an engineer, I know that the structure of a coalition is more important than the facade. I know it’s going to take all of us working together to ensure our city’s future is not sold to the highest bidder. We must work together to build a strong progressive coalition because so much is at stake.
Moon told KING 5 on Friday that she plans to reach out to the other candidates in the top six and hopes to build a "coalition of progressives."
Durkan who has fought back against the label "establishment" candidate points that she has collected endorsements from both business and labor.
She received the backing of the Seattle Metro Chamber of Commerce ahead of the primary, as well as one of the most influential labor unions in the region, SEIU 775.
"It's disappointing that Cary Moon is already engaging in divisive attacks," said a spokeswoman for Jenny Durkan in response to Moon's comments on Friday.
"Jenny already built a broad coalition of supporters - from labor to environmentalists to young people - who are supporting her because of her lifelong work on progressive causes and record of making systemic reforms. She will continue to listen to all the voters and bring them into the process," the statement continued.
Oliver, who's running under the newly formed Seattle People's Party, said regardless of who ends up in second, her campaign already feels it's achieved success.
"The conversation this election has been drastically different than any conversation we’ve ever seen in this city, and we’ve really been able to push the issues that marginalized communities and disenfranchised communities are thinking about on a daily basis, and for us, that’s an incredible win," said Oliver.
Rounding out the top six candidates, former State Rep. Jessyn Farrell has 22,828 votes (12.55 percent), State Sen. Bob Hasegawa has 15,326 votes (8.43 percent), and former mayor Mike McGinn has 11,856 votes (6.52 percent).
Twenty one candidates appeared on the primary ballot in what could be one of the most competitive races for mayor in recent history.
The race for mayor took a dramatic turn in May when Mayor Ed Murray announced he would not seek re-election, facing a civil suit alleging sexual abuse in the 1980s.
The mayor’s accuser has since dropped the suit, saying he wants to wait until Murray is out of office to pursue the case. Murray has denied all wrongdoing.
Prior to the allegations surfacing, Murray was considered a strong favorite to win a second term. After briefly weighing a write-in campaign in June, he decided to instead endorse Jenny Durkan.
Related: Will endorsements make a difference?
The six top candidates spent the past several weeks on a tour of candidate forums, community events and on the campaign trail in all corners of the city.
Candidates have also raised more than $1 million in campaign contributions. Durkan leads the money race with more than $458,000, followed by Moon at nearly $152,000, Farrell at nearly $123,000 and Oliver with nearly $121,000.
The top issues in the race include homelessness, housing affordability, transportation, and police accountability and reform.
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