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Slog PM: A Little Bit of Ballots, Cops4Cops, and John Waters Got a Job

John Waters with his art.
John Waters with his art. XAVIER SCHIPANI

Are you ready to break down this afternoon's news? Grab a single chip and let's get into it. Crunch, crunch, crunch.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is currently refusing to leave office, following the release of a report from the state attorney general that detailed many allegations of sexual harassment against Cuomo. But it seems as if the state assembly has the votes to impeach Cuomo if it comes to that—and if he leaves office, he'll be replaced by Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who would be the first woman to serve as governor of New York.

Spoiler: "It was unclear what kind of whiskey the Japanese gave to Mr. Pompeo." This was our only question and the New York Times failed to answer it.

King County Elections dropped a little baby batch of ballots: The Wednesday evening update after election night is always small, and almost always ends up looking like an extension of the Tuesday results. (Read our takeaways from those results here.) Today's is no different. The elections department counted up a little over 33,000 ballots on top of the 242,000+ they dropped last night, and nothing moved around too much.

Batshit Republican Ann Davison’s share of the vote in the City Attorney’s race inched up closer to 35%, and three-year incumbent Pete Holmes inched down a little closer to 33%.

Former Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell held at 38%, and current Seattle City Council President Lorena González held at 29%. Former Chief Seattle Club director Colleen Echohawk bumped up closer to 9%.

In the race to fill González’s open citywide city council seat, Fremont Brewery co-owner Sara Nelson moved closer to 43%, and Nikkita Oliver held at 35%. In the other at-large council seat, Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda stayed at 55%.

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This Week's Comics: Star Trek is Evil, Encouraging Ghosts, and Kids Piloting Airships

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I used to work at a camera store with a young woman who would occasionally tell stories about a ghost she was having sex with.

As she described the encounters, it became clear to all of us who worked in the store that the “ghost” in the stories matched the exact physical description of her boyfriend; and that she was, for some reason, relating sexual encounters with him that would have been entirely normal if she wasn’t framing them as assignations with a spirit.

To this day, I have no idea why she told these stories — though I suspect it was her way of talking about sex from a safe remove, of verbalizing sexual thoughts through a layer of fiction.

Ghosts — or at least, stories about ghosts — provide us with a unique opportunity to rationalize that which we cannot (or are unwilling to) explain, from a bump in the night to a bang in the dark. In our narratives, they take whatever form serves a purpose; and even when they’re unhelpful in the moment, it seems as though ghost stories always end with a spirit’s unfinished business contributing to the needs of the living.

I thought about that coworker and the need that her stories might have filled when reading one of this week’s more intriguing comic book releases, which involves an artist begging to be haunted. Thanks to Phoenix Comics for helping to sort through the numerous new releases this week, only some of which involve wayward spirits.

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Seattle Sticker Patrol: Executive Produced by Dick Wolf

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Jess Stein

"Executive Producer Dick Wolf"
Spotted somewhere on Capitol Hill.
Spotted somewhere on Capitol Hill. JK
I definitely get the Law & Order theme song stuck in my head whenever I look at this sticker. Let's revisit the theme song of everyone's problematic fave spinoff, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, while we're here, eh? Copaganda at its finest!

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Reviewing the 2021 Seattle Primary Election

The race for Seattle’s Next Mayor will pit a City Council President who wants to tax big corporations for housing against a former City Council President who wants to ask corporations nicely if they could please maybe throw some money our way thanks.
The race for Seattle’s Next Mayor will pit a City Council President who wants to tax big corporations for housing against a former City Council President who wants to ask corporations nicely if they could please maybe throw some money our way thanks. Lorena González's campaign

I woke up this morning feeling like a lot of things happened last night but also that nothing really changed.

King County Elections estimates that turnout for the primary will end up somewhere around 34-36%. (We're currently at 33%.) Turnout in 2017 was 34%. A couple incumbents are in some serious trouble—I'm looking at you, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and 19-year Republican incumbent King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert—but otherwise none of the real or simply self-described "change agents" are leading, at least not among the earliest primary voters.

All that said, with half the ballots still left to count, making sweeping generalizations about how the city or county "feels" seems unwise. But with that said, let's discuss some of the things we can say about the city elections.

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Sub Missives: You Need a Cemita!

Not to sell the torta short-a, but you need a cemita.
Not to sell the torta short-a, but you need a cemita. Meg van Huygen

Know a hot sub? Tell us about it @ submissives@thestranger.com. We hunt for Seattle sandwiches every other Wednesday. Also check out this jambon-beurre, this prime rib sandwich, and this bánh mì.

I want to start by saying that I love and enjoy tortas very much. But if we're talking about eating Mexican sandwiches in general, I'll swap a torta out for a cemita every time.

Of course, there's no real reason to compare these two disparate but equally lovely things. But these two are certainly business associates, and after reading about a billion Yelp reviews on camiterias, it seems tortas and cemitas are often confused.

First, the extremely delicious torta is flexible. You can determine the bread choice by whimsy: people build tortas with bolillo or telera rolls, but plenty of tortas come with pan frances (French-style) or birote (sourdough) rolls, and no doubt others. Frequent filling suspects include grilled meat, breaded/fried meat, nopales, cabbage, cheese, avocado, scrambled eggs, pickled veggies, refried beans, lettuce, and tomatoes, but these are hazy guidelines. I sometimes like the grab-bag mystery of having no idea what's about to happen with a Dagwood-type kitchen sink sando, but honestly? I sometimes get overwhelmed by the anarchy of a torta. It can be a food tornado—everything in your face at once.

While a torta is universally Mexican, the cemita is from the city and state of Puebla. Accordingly, people frequently call the sandwich by its full name, la cemita poblana. So, where a torta can be broad, a cemita is more specific.

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New Savage Love: Mum and Dad

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JOE NEWTON

I'm a 24-year-old gay man with a 31-year-old bi boyfriend. I've known since we got together that he's a lot more sexually experienced than I am, but it's never been a big deal before now. This weekend, he met my parents for what we thought would be the first time. But it turns out that ten years ago, during his "big bi slut phase" (his words), they had a threesome. I recognize that no one did anything wrong—they were three consenting adults—and it's not like anyone could’ve known that he and I would get together in the future. But also, my boyfriend fucked my parents! I'm mortified, he's mortified, they're mortified, and I may never be able to look at my parents again. Please help us find a way to move past this!


I Knew He Was Into Blonds

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Slog AM: City Attorney Pete Holmes Drinks Wine While Fighting for His Political Life, Andrew Cuomo Still Has Not Resigned, The Rain Came and Went With Yesterday

Me singing to the too few drops that fell yesterday: And I miss you, like the desert miss the rain.
Me singing to the too few drops that fell yesterday: "And I miss you, like the desert miss the rain." CinematicFilm/gettyimages.com

Primary 2021. In the race for mayor: Bruce Harrell and M. Lorena González are in great shape. In Seattle City Council Position 9: Sara Nelson and Nikkita Oliver are in great shape. In the race for King County Executive: Dow Constantine is in very great shape. In the race for Seattle City Attorney, Pete Holmes is not in great shape. As the Stranger Election Control Board wrote last night, "the biggest news is that batshit Republican Ann Davison is leading the Seattle City Attorney's race by two points over three-term incumbent Pete Holmes, 34.64% to 32.8%." Read more about this and other races here.

Yes, that's Nikkita Oliver feeling it:

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Primary Election Night 2021: Don Your Personal Protective Equipment and Get Ready to Dig Through Some Results!

📌PINNED: This is our quick take on the election results. Keep scrolling for more party updates.


HARRELL'S LEADING WITH GONZÁLEZ PROBABLY EVENTUALLY HOPEFULLY RIGHT BEHIND HIM, AND THE CITY ATTORNEY'S RACE IS FUCKING WILD

A couple caveats before we get going: The following results represent a portion of the ballots returned in this election. We're only looking at 17.2% voter turnout right now, and as of 6 pm today King County Elections registered a 24% turnout. King County estimates that this initial drop represents about half of the total ballots left to count, and they'll drop more results every day throughout the week.

At first glance, the biggest news is that batshit Republican Ann Davison is leading the Seattle City Attorney's race by two points over three-term incumbent Pete Holmes, 34.64% to 32.8%. Stranger endorsed abolitionist candidate Nicole Thomas-Kennedy is running a smidge behind Holmes with 32.15% of the current vote share. Unless Holmes's last-minute campaigning moved the needle at all, we expect NTK's numbers to improve over the course of the week, which would give Seattle the choice between an abolitionist and a living and breathing KOMO news segment.

In the race for Seattle mayor, former Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell starts with a 9-point lead over current Seattle City Council President Lorena González, 38% to 29%. Nobody else is even close—former Chief Seattle Club director Colleen Echohawk is running in third with 8%, followed by former State Rep. Jessyn Farrell in fourth (again—she came in 4th on primary night in 2017, though this time it's a close fourth). Guy who's dad used to be mayor Art Langlie is running fifth with 6%, followed by former Seattle Deputy Mayor Casey Sixkiller with 4% and then architect Andrew Grant Houston at 2.6%. In 2017, NIkkita Oliver and Cary Moon didn't move that much—Oliver jumped up a point and Moon inched up less than half a point—but last-minute ballots could go González's way depending on whether the last-minute progressive voter is using our endorsement guide or looking for the left-most candidate in the field. On our end, our highest readership on the post overwhelmingly came in the last three days.

Fremont Brewing co-owner Sara Nelson currently leads the City Council Position 9 race over Nikkita Oliver, 42% to 35%. Wouldn't be surprised if Oliver's numbers jumped up over the course of the next few days. Brianna Thomas, González's chief of staff, will begin the week with 14% of the vote share. She picked up a couple later endorsements, though, so that number could improve as well.

No surprises in City Council Position 8. Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda leads with 55% of the vote, and someone named Kenneth Wilson is second with 18%. We should google him later.

Third-term incumbent Executive Dow Constantine leads state Senator Joe Nguyen 54% to 29.69% (nice). That's decent for Constantine—he cracked 50%—but not a terrible position for Nguyen, who didn't spend nearly as much as the incumbent for his share of the vote so far. We'll be looking at this race second (after the city attorney's races!!!) throughout the week.

Best Starts for Kids, a levy to raise over $870 million to strengthen the county's safety net, will likely coast to victory. The levy is passing right now with 59% of the vote.

Speaking of kids, Vivian Song Maritz is leading her race against incumbent interim school board director Erin Dury and Laura Marie Rivera in District 4; 56% to 11% to 23%, respectively. We guess not enough people cared about her moving into the district and then moving again during the campaign after first moving into another district to run!

And we know who's happy about Michelle Sarju leading the school board race in District 5 with 82% of the vote: her liberal opponent, Crystal S. Liston, who pledged her vote to Sarju during the endorsement meeting with the SECB. Liston somehow pulled in 4% of the votes, with conservative Dan Harder nabbing 14% so far.

The county council races are looking mildly interesting. Nineteen-year incumbent Kathy Lambert is leading Democrat Sarah Perry 41% to 34%. If you add Democrat Joe Cohen's 24% to Perry's total, that's 58% of the district so far choosing someone other than the incumbent. Lots of shit could change, but if we were Lambert, we'd be feeling a little doomed at the moment.

The Democratic challengers running against ancient incumbent Republican Pete von Reichbauer and slightly less ancient incumbent Republican Reagan Dunn don't look as good. PVR leads District 7 with 56% of the vote. Stranger-endorsed candidate Saudia J. Abdullah is running last with 12%, trailing Lydia Assefa-Dawson at 16%, and Dominique Torgerson pulling in second with 16.3%.

Meanwhile, in District 9, Dunn leads with 57% of the vote share, followed by Renton City Councilmember Kim-Khanh Van with 21%, Chris Franco with 16%, and Ubax Gardheere with 5%.

PETE HOLMES IS ALLEGEDLY HAVING A GLASS OF WINE AND WATCHING THE OLYMPICS

9:30 PM


We don't have proof of this yet, but Pete Holmes's comms guy, Matt Wieck, said wine and the games were the three-term incumbent Seattle City Attorney's "gameplan" after the returns came in tonight. (Get it? "Gameplan" and the "games?" SEND THIS MAN TO COMMUNITY COURT.) "That's what you do when you have to go to work tomorrow morning and watch the ballots return" for the rest of the week, Wieck added.

Wieck said the longtime public servant is "feeling alright at this point" with the idea of trailing a batshit Republican by two points and basically tying an abolitionist defense attorney who battled his own prosecutors for four years. Wieck said a definitive outcome is "pretty hard to tell at this point." Given that Ann Davison (the batshit Republican) is leading the race right now with a little less than 35%, we asked Wieck to ask Holmes what he thought a Davison administration might look like. We'll update if we hear back and if we're not doing other posts by then.

32% OF SEATTLE VOTED FOR THE ABOLITION OF MISDEMEANORS

9:25 PM


Nicole Thomas-Kennedy hangs out with supporters of her abolitionist campaign. Punishment isnt solving the problem. Its fucking stupid.
Nicole Thomas-Kennedy hangs out with supporters of her abolitionist campaign. "Punishment isn't solving the problem. It's fucking stupid."

The party for supporters of Nicole Thomas-Kennedy in her abolitionist race for city attorney soon became a quiet, intimate gathering. Rather than give a speech, NTK chatted individually with supporters and thanked them for their support. Taste of Caribbean owner Carlene Comrie let the SECB know she was delighted to host the celebration for the candidate, who lives just around the corner, in the junction between the International District and the Central District.

The results showed a tight three-way race with Ann Davison leading with around 35% of the current vote, Pete Homes with 33%, and Thomas-Kennedy not far behind with 32%.

“The results seem positive,” Thomas-Kennedy told the SECB, noting that about a third of the Seattle electorate supports not prosecuting non-violent misdemeanors. “That's amazing and encouraging. People are done with this shit.”

“Prosecuting non-violent misdemeanors is counter-intuitive, harmful, and it’s only done in the U.S. It’s not justice,” she said as the party dispersed and people said their goodbyes.

When asked what sort of race it might be if Thomas-Kennedy faced Ann Davison, whose platform calls for increasing prosecutions, Thomas-Kennedy was optimistic she would do well in November. “Because I’m talking about actual solutions, not the same old shit. I just don’t understand these people who say, ‘I want to have compassion but I want to feel safe.’ There’s just no real sense of compassion in that. Punishment isn’t solving the problem. It’s fucking stupid.”

A supporter named Ish agreed: “Yeah, people who commit non-violent crimes don’t need incarceration, they need services and help.”

The results will continue to trickle in throughout the week, with late-breaking votes that trend young and progressive possibly favoring NTK. Whether NTK, longtime city attorney fixture Pete Holmes or Seattle Police Officers Guild-fangirl Ann Davison are on the ballot remains to be seen. It won’t be a boring race in November.

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The Closing Arguments in Seattle's City Elections

So. Many. Mailers.
So. Many. Mailers. Rich Smith

The people running for local office (and the deep-pocketed independent expenditures that support some of them) have spent the last couple weeks making their closing arguments to voters. They've also ramped up spending to make sure voters hear those arguments as loudly as legally possible.

In a last-minute push to get out the vote and answer any lingering questions the electorate might have, over the weekend several campaigns donned personal protective equipment and hit the doors. Many of them discovered a theme: despite plenty of mailers in mailboxes and ads on television, a fair number of voters still had no idea who they planned to vote for.

King County's ballot return statistics reflect that indecisiveness, which is pretty typical even this late in the game. As of today at noon, only about 23.4% of Seattle's registered voters had turned in a ballot. As campaigns continue to urge more voters to get their ballots in, let's review the closing arguments in the major city races and learn what else candidates discovered at the doors.

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We Vote Not to Make Things Better but to Prevent the Worst From Happening

Overcome your democratic exhaustion and vote today.
Overcome your democratic exhaustion and vote today. Charles Mudede

I voted, and I will continue to vote. But I will never vote with the illusion that the candidates I select will, if elected, significantly redefine social experience.

If you are on the left, as I am, the best your vote can do is help check the worst from happening. The changes that a leftist politician can make are constrained in a way that those of a politician on the right are not. And so we have a situation where the worst (more of the same: cars, inequality, environmental degradation, privatization) is free to accelerate when the opportunity is available; and the best (public transportation, really affordable housing, clean energy), is easily decelerated to the point of enjoying only the smallest of gains. This is why it's not an exaggeration to say the role of the left in the present democracy is to briefly make the worst happen slowly rather than quickly. The worst is the order of the day.

This is why my favorite speech by Martin Luther King Jr. is his 1966 "I'm Tired" speech. It was delivered not in Selma or some other place in the South but in Chicago, an industrial city in the North. I think we should listen to it as we vote in Seattle.

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"Can I Vote In-Person?" and More Extremely Last-Minute Election Day Questions

If you really want to show up in person to vote, you can swing by one of six voting centers around King County. There’s a list of them here; the only one in Seattle is at the Lumen Field Event Center, 800 Occidental Ave S.

Can I just show up to vote without registering first?

Yes! Just walk right in to one of those voting centers! That is, as long as you’re a U.S. citizen, a legal resident of Washington state, at least 18 years old by election day, not disqualified from voting due to a court order, and not under supervision for a felony conviction.

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New Savage Lovecast: Savage Worships Goddess Charlotte Lashes

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Our opening "sexcess" story will make all the licensed massage therapists cringe. We are truly sorry.

A woman and her girlfriend have gotten in the habit of using baby voices with each other. They know this is terrible, but they can't stop. Dan! Make them stop!

On the Magnum, Dan continues crushing out on dominatrixes. This week, he interviews Goddess Charlotte Lashes about financial domination, kinky conservatives, and boyfriends who are being dominated by their mothers. Goddess Charlotte COMMANDS YOU TO LISTEN.

A bisexual woman is very attracted to penises. She likes everything about cis women except their vaginas. And she's attracted to trans folks...but only if they have a dick. So, is this wrong? When she's on a date, how and when should she ask what they have down below?

Listen here:


New Games You Should Play: Here Comes Niko Is Out Today!

I don’t think a game description has ever spoken to me as directly as “a cozy 3D platformer for tired people.” In this extremely adorable title from Frog Vibes, your boss (a frog with a necktie) has sent you to a chain of islands to make friends with local animals, explore attractive biomes, and complete jobs like fishing, making art, or tapping through dialogue. The look is Windwaker, the tasks are Animal Crossing, and your mission is to relax — with a strong focus on forming friendships, to which I say, oh thank God. I don’t get the sense that there’s a ton of narrative to unpack here; just a general pleasant island vacation with the lowest of possible stakes. Sometimes, low stakes mean that it’s hard to get too invested in a game; but is that necessarily a bad thing? When a game demands my daily attention, that pressure can be a turnoff. If it’s just something that I kinda, you know, casually check out when I remember, well that sounds like an extra-relaxing vibe.

Available August 3 on Switch and Steam.

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TODAY: The Stranger's Endorsements for the August 3, 2021, Primary Election

Qries

We spy with our stoned little eyes: Jenny Durkan hobnobbing with cops, Jessyn Farrell testing out some innovative childcare infrastructure, Andrew Grant Houston posing with a constituent, antifascists schooling Bruce Harrell on the field, Lorena González netting a can of tear gas, Colleen Echohawk constructing some housing, Casey Sixkiller sweeping up someone else’s personal property, and a city emerging from a pandemic to confront yet another summer of smoky skies.JAMES YAMASAKI


We hate to pull you away from your completely self-indulgent but totally justified post-COVID rumspringa, but we’re holding a primary election on August 3, and it’s a big one. Seattle’s entire progressive project is at stake.

This election will decide whether Seattle will FINALLY have a chance to pair a progressive mayor with a progressive council, or whether Seattle will AGAIN vote for more gridlock, acrimony, and criminalization by pitting some corporate simp against a council who actually wants to build housing, reduce emissions, fund alternatives to policing, raise taxes on big business to pay for homeless services, and bail out the workers who run our music venues, theaters, dance clubs, restaurants, bars, barbershops, bathhouses, sex dungeons, sex towers, sex moats, and Howard Schultz's world-famous cafés!!

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Slog AM: TIME TO VOTE, SEATTLE; Progressives Slam Biden for Eviction Moratorium Expiration; COVID Hospitalization Rate Matches April Levels

The thrill of it!
The thrill of it! Jasmyne Keimig

You still have time to vote, but we're getting down to the wire here: According to The Stranger's click-o-meter and to several campaign staffers I talked to for a forthcoming piece, a very large number of you are still trying to decide who to vote for at this very moment! (As of yesterday, just under 17% of registered voters in King County had returned their ballots. The day before the 2017 primaries, 18% of registered voters had turned in their ballots, so we're slippin!!) That's somewhat understandable given the unending stresses and perturbations of daily life, but uh....time to vote or else let the old rich white people decide who the next mayor will be!!

If you have yet to vote, then bust out your ballot NOW (or at lunch!), pull up our Cheat Sheet, vote the Stranger ticket, and slide that puppy in a dropbox by 8 pm today. It's probably too late to mail by this point, so find a dropbox near you. Not registered? No ballot? Need to vote in person for some reason? Find answers to all those questions here.

Check back here tonight: As we normally do, the Stranger Election Control Board will report LIVE from a few election night parties around town and post regular updates right here on Slog. Stay tuned for in-depth snack reportage, reaction shots, overheard expletives, and the results of the first ballot drop. Important note: King County elections typically expects to post "about 50-60%" of the returns on the first night. The rest of the returns will dribble out over the course of the next week or so.

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