Bruce Harrell will become the next mayor of Seattle, defeating M. Lauren Gonzalez in a race dominated by opposing approaches to homelessness and public safety.
When more votes were counted on Thursday, Harrell announced victory in an email campaign, telling supporters, “We did it,” and promising to rule with “the urgency and humility this moment demands.” Gonzalez relented, saying that she called Harrell to congratulate him.
Harrell received 62% of the vote in the mayoral election, with about three quarters of the ballots counted.
The 63-year-old former city council president, who played a major role on the University of Washington football team and worked as a lawyer before going into politics, is already moving into mayor’s regime, encouraged by “over 500 emails and text messages” from anxious supporters. he said in an interview Thursday from the transition office in Seattle’s city tower.
“I’m energetic and I’m ready for it,” said Harrell, who was more moderate while Gonzalez ran as a self-proclaimed progressive.
In her announcement of the concession, Gonzalez said: “With the ballots being dropped today, it is clear that Bruce Harrell will be the next mayor of Seattle. I called him earlier to congratulate him on his tough race and wish him the best in his efforts to make progress on the challenges Seattle is facing. ”
Some 118,000 additional ballots were counted Thursday across King County, including around 46,000 in Seattle, giving left-wing candidates an edge in several contests.
Gonzalez, who trailed Harrell by 30 percentage points on Tuesday night, narrowed that gap to 24 points on Thursday, receiving 45% of the additional votes.
But perhaps only 65,000 ballots still need to be counted in Seattle. Gonzalez will need to score about 80% or more of the remaining votes to catch up with Harrell.
In recent years, after election night, Seattle’s results for left-handed candidates have jumped 12 percentage points, thanks to younger, more progressive voters returning their ballots later. However, no race has changed by 30 percentage points.
This is an evolving story and will be updated.