Which woman? That’s yet to be determined. After sifting through a whopping 21 mayoral candidates during primary season, the voters have spoken. As King County Elections is still counting ballots we know that the top three of the 21 candidates are women. As of Tuesday afternoon, this is how things are sizing up:
- Jenny Durkan at 31.6%
- Cary Moon at 15.56%
- Nikkita Oliver at 13.9%
This is quite extraordinary considering Seattle’s first and only female mayor was elected in 1926, 16 years after Washington State’s Women’s Suffrage was enacted and just 6 years after the passage of the 19th Amendment.
As of late, Seattle has been a city that strongly upholds diversity of many sorts in elected officials. A city of less than 10% African Americans elected Norman B. Rice for two terms. Our current Mayor, Ed Murray, is openly gay. Seattle’s congressional district 7 is represented by Indian American Pramila Jayapal. Our City Council is a beacon of diversity, made up of more women than men, Asian American, Indian American and Hispanic representatives.
When it comes to race, gender, and ethnic diversity, we set the standard. However, I want to see the same level of diversity extend to policy. Our top three candidates’ political stances are almost indistinguishable from one another, and that’s troubling. Voters need to have more choices when it comes to our city’s leaders. Just like a successful company intentionally allows for healthy levels of friction and discourse, we need different approaches to how the city will be run. No matter who is elected our next mayor, I hope she brings different viewpoints to City Hall. Hire experienced individuals who will both challenge her and represent all the constituents of Seattle. We need to bring more balance to the mayor’s office. Durkin, Moon or Oliver will have an opportunity to deliver on that.