Voters in Seattle to decide mayoral primary on Aug. 3

Welcome to the Friday, July 30, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Voters in Seattle to decide mayoral primary on Aug. 3
  2. Oklahoma governor appoints new attorney general
  3. Two years ago, Democrats held second presidential primary debate of 2020 cycle

Voters in Seattle to decide mayoral primary on Aug. 3

Let’s conclude our previews highlighting next week’s key elections with a look at Seattle’s municipal elections.

Fifteen candidates are running in Seattle’s nonpartisan primary for mayor on Aug. 3, with the top two candidates advancing to the general election on Nov. 2. Mayor Jenny Durkan—who was elected in 2017—announced last December that she would not run for re-election.

Six candidates have led the field in media attention, noteworthy endorsements, and/or campaign finance—Colleen Echohawk, Jessyn Farrell, Lorena González, Bruce Harrell, Andrew Grant Houston, and Casey Sixkiller. Four of the six have served in city or state government:

  • Echohawk is the executive director of an organization providing services to American Indian and Alaska Native people. 
  • Farrell was a state representative from 2013 to 2017.
  • González currently serves as Seattle’s city council president.
  • Harrell is a former city council member who served as city council president from 2016 to 2017 and again from 2018 to 2019.
  • Houston is an architect and served as interim policy manager for current at-large council member Teresa Mosqueda.
  • Sixkiller was Seattle’s deputy mayor from 2020 until his mayoral campaign. 

Various Democratic individuals or groups have endorsed each of the six candidates, and each says their background best equips them to address the city’s issues, including pandemic recovery, policing and public safety, affordable housing and homelessness, and transit. You can read about the candidates’ backgrounds and key messages by clicking here.

The Northwest Progressive Institute released results of a poll on July 16 showing Harrell with 20% support, González with 12%, Echohawk with 10%, and Farrell and Houston with 6% each. Thirteen percent of respondents supported other candidates, and 32% were unsure.

Elections in Washington are conducted entirely by mail. Voters may drop off completed ballots by 8 p.m. on Election Day or have their ballots postmarked by Aug. 3 if mailed. The results of this race may not be known for several days. Twenty-one candidates ran in the city’s last mayoral primary on Aug. 1, 2017.  The top two finishers in that race were not conclusively determined until election officials certified results on Aug. 15, 2017.

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Oklahoma governor appoints new attorney general 

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) appointed John O’Connor (R) as the state’s attorney general on July 23. O’Connor succeeds former attorney general Mike Hunter (R), who resigned on June 1. Oklahoma’s attorney general is next up for election in 2022.

Hunter had served as the attorney general since 2017. Former Gov. Mary Fallin (R) appointed Hunter to the position in 2017 after President Donald Trump (R) appointed Scott Pruitt (R) to be the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Hunter defeated Mark Myles (D), 64% to 36%, to win a full term in 2018.

O’Connor has worked as an attorney in private practice and served on the Board of Trustees of Oklahoma State University-Tulsa. Trump nominated O’Connor to a federal district court judgeship in April 2018. The U.S. Senate did not confirm O’Connor during the 115th Congress, and O’Connor withdrew his name from consideration for re-nomination on Apr. 12, 2019. 

The attorney general is an executive office in all 50 states. An attorney general is the state’s chief legal advisor and has the power to prosecute violations of state law. An attorney general also represents the state in legal disputes and issues legal advice to the legislature and state agencies. The current partisan affiliation of attorneys general nationwide is 26 Republicans and 24 Democrats.

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Two years ago, Democrats held second presidential primary debate of 2020 cycle

Two years ago today—on July 30-31, 2019—the Democratic Party began the second of 11 primary debates ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Twenty candidates participated—10 each night—at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.

The candidates were selected if they met one of two criteria. They must have received one percent support or more in three national or early state polls—Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and/or Nevada—released since Jan. 1, 2019. Candidates could also qualify if they had at least 65,000 unique donors with a minimum of 200 unique donors per state in at least 20 states

Fourteen candidates met both the polling and fundraising thresholds. The candidates were then divided into three groups based on their polling performance and randomly distributed between the two nights of the debate using a drawing.

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders spoke for the most minutes on the debate’s first night—July 30. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris spoke for the most minutes on the debate’s second night.

Want to take a trip back in time and review the highlighted messages of each candidate or read a transcript of the debate? Click the link below to review our in-depth coverage.

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