Seattle Mayoral Race 2013
8:32 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Murray, McGinn Leading in Seattle Mayoral Primary

KPLU report from Mayor Mike McGinn's election night party.

KPLU report from state Senator Ed Murray's primary election celebration.

A state senator who drove efforts to make gay marriage legal in Washington state was leading in early returns in Seattle's mayoral primary.

Ed Murray had 30 percent of the vote released Tuesday night. Incumbent Mike McGinn, fighting to avoid becoming the second straight mayor ousted by city voters before the general election, had 27 percent.

Murray and McGinn were significantly ahead of two other major candidates. Former City Councilman Peter Steinbrueck was at 16 percent and current City Councilman Bruce Harrell had 15 percent.

Speaking at The Crocodile late Tuesday, Murray said he can lead the city forward. 

"The one thing that's clear from tonight's results is that the people of Seattle want new leadership," he said. "I'm not running to be a gay mayor of Seattle, and I'm not running to be a progressive mayor of Seattle. I'm running to be an effective mayor of Seattle."

McGinn, addressing his supporters at a Capitol Hill bar late Tuesday, said he works hard to give a voice to the voiceless, "like the people who check out your groceries and stock your shelves."

"I'm proud of the people who stood with me. I have a sign behind my desk that says, 'Do the right thing.'" McGinn said as the crowd chanted, "Four more years!" 

"We're going to have a race about: What does this city stand for?" McGinn said.

In Washington, mail-in ballots only have to be post-marked by the date of the election, so officials still have tens of thousands of votes to count in the coming days. The top two finishers advance to the November election.