Civic activist and urban planner Cary Moon has conceded in the mayor's race.
After the second day of ballot returns from the general election, former U.S. attorney Jenny Durkan had 60.4 percent of votes and Moon received just 39.6 percent—and the two candidates now had a 24,984-vote margin. Though Moon slightly closed the percentage difference, to 20.8 percent, Durkan was clearly the winner by a landslide.
Moon in a statement on Wednesday thanked her supporters and said they ran a "strong, transparent, and honest campaign about vision and solutions," and drove the conversation on ideas like housing affordability, real estate speculation, and municipal broadband. She said she congratulated Durkan as Seattle's second female mayor in history—the first openly lesbian mayor—but promised to keep pushing her on wealth inequality.
"I urge her to boldly confront the challenges facing our city and to remember that Seattle's prosperity should provide shared opportunity and success for everyone, not just the wealthy few," Moon said. "We all belong here, and deserve a voice in sharing our city's future. I know you won't stop fighting for what you believe is right, and I won't stop fighting either."
Durkan during her speech Tuesday night thanked Moon for her campaign and said she knows "firsthand how hard they worked and how much they put in this, and the toll it takes on families." Asked whether she would try to bring Moon and her campaign into her administration, Durkan told PubliCola she would reach out to Moon to see what kinds of ideas she has.
Durkan on Tuesday night told PubliCola she would announce a transition committee shortly and hasn't made any decisions on department heads. As she made clear on the campaign trail, Durkan said she wants to keep Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole, but Durkan said she hasn't reached out to her about whether she'd be interested in staying.
“I am honored that the voters have given me this great opportunity, but with the honor comes a deep responsibility," Durkan said in a statement Wednesday, adding that she would work closely with city officials to ensure a smooth transition. "The hard work of delivering progress starts today. Our city will—and must—come together around the solutions to address the urgent issues facing our city from homelessness to affordability to addressing systemic inequities."
Mayor Tim Burgess will be signing off on the 2018 budget before he leaves the executive office on November 28, and the city council will solidify its budget in the next two weeks. It's possible Burgess and the council could incorporate some of Durkan's agenda items, though it would be easier for her to wait on any changes until she takes office. Durkan said she would prioritize housing affordability and economic development, as well as homelessness and transportation.
Durkan said she wants to ensure minority businesses are participating in the city's public contracting, and that Initiative 200—which restricts a government's ability to award contracts on affirmative action—doesn't interfere with the city's contracts. She also promised two years of free community college tuition to all Seattle public high school students, and said she wants to "make real on that promise as quickly as we can."