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Crime, homelessness among top issues in Seattle's mayoral primaries

As the city continues to distance itself from the COVID-19 pandemic, Seattle looks to the next mayor to grapple with other glaring issues.

SEATTLE — On Tuesday, voters will decide who moves on in the race for Seattle's next mayor. 

It's a heated primary so far and today's two winners will be left to debate some big challenges coming out of the pandemic.

Ahead of election day, several voters expressed frustration over the city's increase in crime. 

Neighborhoods like Dunlap and Rainier Beach account for around 40% of Seattle's shootings and shots fired. 

But even in downtown Seattle, the increase in crime is a concern. 

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"The recent spade of shootings here in Seattle have me concerned about the gun violence, so I want to see what they do about the 2nd amendment," said resident David Chen. 

In addition to crime, voters say they want action when it comes to homelessness.

"The garbage, the human waste that is gathering up in all these campsites. I  think we need to provide more sanitary options for people to use the restrooms," said Rick Deluga, who lives in South Seattle. 

Another hot issue for voters is the hiring crisis facing the Seattle Police Department. 

Mayor Durkan has proposed a budget plan for job incentives and officer recruitment. The plan has yet to be approved by city council, but Deluga isn't convinced the plan would combat crime. 

 "We need to improve our systems, they are broke. I feel part of the reason why there is that increased crime is because people are desperate for something," Deluga added.

It isn't all bad news for the future mayor though. Both Deluga and Chen say they are happy with Mayor Durkan's COVID-19 response and aren't looking for a change on that front.

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