As the SECB waits in line for a drink and attempts to eavesdrop, the SECB encounters a person the SECB has been wondering about for a week. Last weekend when the SECB returned home to the SECB's apartment, a Jon Grant mailer on the front stoop said, "Call me" with a phone number.
"I'm just hoping you'll realize socialist campaign literature is your new dating app," says the person who left the mailer. The SECB is receptive to the idea. For the record, the SECB's DMs are open.
Halfway through the SECB's gin, Kshama Sawant arrives. She's stoked about Grant and optimistic (but not too starry eyed) about Oliver. There's a lot of work left to do. But if both of them advance, she says, that will "give the Democratic establishment a lot to think about."
The SECB is now deep in a conversation about the differences between Socialist Alternative and the Democratic Socialists of America. Please forward the SECB's mail to this bar from here on out.
While still in a close third behind Cary Moon, Oliver tells her supporters at Washington Hall to stop checking their phones for election results. (The Stranger, ashamedly, continued to do so.) "No matter what those numbers say, do not get into political apathy," Oliver says. "We have nothing to mourn. We have everything to celebrate." Her tone is really confusing because she's only trailing Moon by a couple percentage points with just half the projected ballots counted.
So we ask Oliver herself. "Regardless of what the numbers were saying, I intended to say we have to keep organizing," she says. "It's not defeat, it's actually vision."
"I try not to use the word 'win' because 'win' infers that somebody loses," Oliver continues. "The way I see this election is that this has to be pivotal for our entire city... I guess to someone that might sound defeated, but to me it's about a bigger vision of seeing Seattle as a whole thrive."
When we first arrived, we were fairly certain there were more ghosts than people at this party. There are now more press people than people people, and camera crews with bright shiny lights are stalking the charismatic Moon. We would make some metaphor about the tides following the moon, but there's so much fucking free champagne, and no one is at this party, and we are drinking all of the champagne because ghosts cannot drink.
Many TV stations have arrived by 8:30pm. The enthusiastic crowd of family members and staff are getting tired holding up these "Cary Moon For Mayor" signs. Maybe some of these unexpected Moon voters should come out and hold some damn signs. "WE HAVE TO POSE FOR ANOTHER NEWS CREW," says the Moon press woman. The SECB enjoys the table of free champagne that no one else can enjoy because they are either holding signs or holding a TV camera.
At 9:26, the SECB has a difficult time pushing through to Cary due to the overwhelming TV cameras and news reporters wearing some obnoxiously navy shorts. When asked how the unexpected turn of events feels, the press manager says, "Its amazing. Considering The Stranger says no one was here." "Well, no one was here." "The invite said show up at 7." "No one was here at 7. Or 8," we respond.
The Seattle Times is reporting that Cary Moon's party is "packed," but the bar is entirely empty. We are pushed away by a KIRO reporter. At 9:30, we get a chance to chat woth Moon. She is glowing and humble and approachable. "I feel really excited around building a coalition around the progressives—except Jenny Durkan. It's time for politics to change in this town whether that means we're second or third."
“Okay,” City Council candidate (and co-owner of Fremont Brewing Company) Sara Nelson asked us after the first batch of votes placed her in a very narrow (one point!) race with Stranger endorsee (and definitely, definitely not serial killer) Jon Grant for third place. “What question do you want to ask me?”
Nelson had just given a somewhat desultory “this isn’t what we’d hoped for but have no fear/ still a lot of votes to count”-style speech to the 30 or so supporters who were gathered in the back room of Zocalo, a faux-fancy restaurant-bar in Pioneer Square. Simon Cowell blathered silently on a TV screen showing America’s Got Talent behind her, and an increasingly sad buffet of unidentifiable canapés lingered, uneaten. Pinto beans notwithstanding. Those were definitely pinto beans.
The candidate then walked right up to us, a pint of beer in her hand, and an expression on her face perhaps best described as “not massively thrilled to see a Stranger correspondent at a party that turns out not to be a victory celebration.”
“Uh,” we said, “Just looking to gauge your reaction.”
“To the initial vote count.”
“Optimism!” she said with convincing conviction. “Because there is a path forward. I don’t think we’re going to know tonight one way or another.”
We then spoke about the increasing frustration over elections that don’t yield results on the night they happen. She said it was interesting that there has been “a shift” in the demographics of early and late voting. Whereas we used to be able to assume that late votes were cast by the “liberal/leftist” faction, that reality is becoming more and more unpredictable, dynamic and fluid.
She said she had been canvassing only last night among some “aging” people who hadn’t yet cast their ballots, and “convinced them to vote for me.” Reminding us that she is an anthropologist, Nelson said she was interested in learning more about this phenomenon.
Asked about the low turnout among primary voters in general, she said what a lot of us have been thinking/saying/posting: that “you’d think the Anti-Trump outrage of 2016”—which, she added, played a big role in her decision to run in the first place (She specifically cited Michael Moore’s “don’t get mad; run for office” speech at the National Womxn’s March the day after inauguration)—might have lasted the nine months between the presidential election and this one.
“Sooooooo…” we hesitated to ask, “regardless of the outcome—”
“I don’t think there is an outcome!” she was quick to point out.
“No, obviously,” we mewled. “But regardless of whatever the outcome comes out to be, are you glad you ran/are still running?"
“Yes,” she said. “You know why?”
“No,” we confessed.
“Because I think my campaign has already had an effect,” she said. “It’s already started to change the conversation and made it possible for different kinds of candidates to run. We need it now and we’re definitely going to need it in 2019, with seven empty seats coming up. It’s going to be a shit show.”
It was still pretty early and the party was for sure over.
“What are you going to do with the rest of your night?” we managed to ask.
“Well,” she considered, “I’ll buy you a bourbon if you like.”
We accepted, gladly. She went to the bar and came back with a glass of Four Roses, neat.
“I wanna dance with somebody” blares on the loudspeakers following the announcement of Teresa’s Mosqueda’s 30 percent lead in the race Council Position 8, and it’s safe to say that everyone at Optimism Brewery is pretty fucking exciting (and pretty fucking sweaty) at the moment.
Lorena Gonzalez makes an appearance and stays long enough to confirm her landslide into the general. Seeing her 60 percent victory, the crowd gave Gonzlaez a roaring applause. (We swear, we heard the faint ‘boo’ of a Pauly Giuglianotti supporter in the crowd.)
“We know politics are local. We know resistance is local. We could not fight that fight without Teresa,” Gonzalez says to the crowd before passing the mic to Mosqueda.
“TE-RE-SA! TE-RE-SA! TE-RE-SA!” the crowd bellows.
Mosqueda says she’s humbled and grateful to have nearly a third of the votes.
“I think the lead will hold,” she tells the SECB. “I’d love to see it a bit clearer for position two,” she added regarding Grant and Nelson’s neck-in-neck numbers.
During our interview with Mosqueda, Zach “Dreamboat” Pullin DeWolf runs up to us, gives Mosqueda a hug, and runs off. The SECB suspects the group is gunning for a Mosqeda-Gonzalez-DeWolf local politics ménage-a-trois of sorts.
It seems as though the party just got started. Most of the food is gone, which, according to a volunteer, was provided by Plum Bistro—the location of Mike McGinn’s party. Maybe he can spot us some of his leftovers? We’ll be here all night, Mike.
The SECB was in the middle of talking to state senator and Jenny Durkan-endorser Reuven Carlyle about whether he thinks Ed Murray should resign when the King County Elections site uploaded its first ballot count.
Unsurprisingly, it looks like Durkan will make it through the primary. Though in a crowded field of contenders, the first drop shows she won just 31.6 percent of the vote.
But back to what Carlyle said, because 1) it is more interesting and 2) given the fact that Durkan asked for and won Murray's endorsement, it's something she'll likely have to answer as the race heads to the general election.
"I think like everybody I'm deeply unsettled and uncomfortable with the reality of this," Carlyle said. "I will tell you straight up that I think the legal process, he has a right [for] the legal process to unfold. I will also say that I have a deep familiarity with the foster care system and I am pained on every level by the magnitude of the evidence."
Carlyle also shared that when he was a kid, his mother was a foster parent and dealt with a totally unfounded accusation. "I know in the depth of my soul how painful it is," Carlyle said. "I have a deep sense of nuance and the magnitude of the issues."
And, Carlyle said, he was impacted "on a really deep level" by the Survivors' Network of Those Abused by Priests coming forward and asking Murray to resign. That said, he believes Murray should finish his term. "I just feel a man who's given his entire life to public service is a great cost and there is legitimacy to that, but I feel like ending his term and having a transition to a new mayor is punishment," Carlyle said. "I'm not judging whether it's punishment enough. I understand that the voice of survivors is powerful."
But back to Durkan.
Former governor Christine Gregoire chatted with Durkan supporters at the Alstadt Bierhalle & Brathaus, as did City Council Member Tim Burgess. "Get me a white wine or a rosé," a woman in the crowd instructed her friend. Durkan entered the room to cheers, chants, and applause. She took the stand in front of a row of well-coiffed campaign interns and canvassers.
First, Durkan gave a shout-out to volunteers driving her GOTV campaign.
"That was our secret weapon," Durkan said. "We connected with the voters of Seattle and the people here on this stage, endorsers, supporters, were amazing. In the last several weeks we have hit and knocked on so many doors, almost 10,000 doors in the city of Seattle. We talked to voters. We made over 20,000 calls to voters. I'm sorry about the dinner-hour calls to voters, and the spam e-mails."
Then the former prosecutor pivoted to her vision of Seattle under a Durkan mayorship.
"This is a campaign, everyone knows, was never about me," Durkan said. "It was about what you people believe in, what the voters believe in. It's about the future of Seattle. It's about Seattle leading and the future of our country."
Once again, Durkan reiterated her call for Seattle to be a "rebuke to the things Donald Trump stands for because the progressive values of Seattle will always win the hearts and minds."
The SECB is not entirely sure what Durkan's future Seattle offers for the most marginalized and low-income groups in the city. The SECB is not entirely sure what about Durkan distinguishes from the other candidates in the "rebuke to Trump" sense. But the SECB sure is glad that we are no longer sandwiched between khakis in that sweaty bierhalle with rosé-drinking Jenny Durkan supporters. The SECB is not entirely sure they should be the arbiters of the future we want.
That was the succor Jessyn Farrell offered a crowded room of supporters at LOST Lake the moment she took the stage. A mood of cautious optimism filled the room. Lots of overheard “Well shits,” and at least one “What the fuck is up with the Stranger?” What the fuck is up with the Stranger? Dunno. But the SECB wanted to find out.
We introduced ourselves to the person who we overheard talking about the Stranger and asked what she thought of the results.
"I love the Stranger!!” she said, as she ran out of the restaurant.
So we approached a former candidate for Congress, but he told us he was a reporter now and directed us to Council Member Rob Johnson.
“I think it’s still early,” Johnson said. “There are reasons to be hopeful. I was talking to a lot of people who were coming around to Jessyn, but coming around to Jessyn late, so we’ll see.”
The SECB didn’t see “a lot of people” in the room who raised their hands when Farrell asked how many people had knocked on doors for the candidate, but, yes, we’ll see.
Johnson’s enthusiasm mirrored Farrell’s.
"Those are definitely tough results, so we’ll have to see if we can overcome a deficit. We were campaigning til 8 o’clock tonight, so we’ll see,” she said.
But what if she doesn’t overcome her deficit?
“It’s still to early to tell. But I’ll stay engaged on fighting on the issues I care deeply about no matter what.”
Which issue is that?
“Affordable housing crisis.”
In what capacity will you fight?”
“There’s lots of ways to serve. We’ll see.”
But not a word from her campaign on tonight's returns. (Even though they're looking good for her!)
After briefly swelling enough to spill out onto the streets through Plum Bistro’s wide garage doors, by the time the announcement comes, the crowd has thinned. There are maybe two dozen people left, evenly split between supporters and reporters. The one-time mayor gestures for everyone to come in. The first returns are in and McGinn, it seems, is out.
The candidate speaks. He is disappointed, but not defeated, nor particularly surprised. This third mayoral campaign was always a longshot in a crowded field, but McGinn takes some credit for moving that field to the left. “The issues I raised in 2009 that seemed so radical at the time—we should pay for our own transit, we should do municipal broadband, we should invest in education—all of those things have now become the mainstream in Seattle politics,” he says.
McGinn wasn’t known for mincing words when he was mayor, and he doesn’t now either. He speaks plainly about Jenny Durkan, the apparent front-runner, whose war chest is lined with corporate donations. “Seattle needs change,” he says, “and Jenny is the status quo.” The candidate ends by promising he won’t be disappearing any time soon.
With that, it’s over. Reporters rush to file stories and supporters put down their glasses and gather their things. On the way home, we pass a sign posted to a telephone pole. “McGinn for Mayor,” it says. But he won’t be. Not this time around.
It just got pretty fucking sad here at The Paramount. The results are trickling in, and at this moment, Prop 1 looks destined to fail. Although the ballot measure trailing by about 10 percent, Access For All Campaign Manager Jack Sorensen says that his group will not give up until the final results are tallied on August 15th, and that they have no plans for what's next until then.
The jazz band is now playing sad slow tunes, and the people are slightly bummed but are saying they are not totally down. However, people are leaving rapidly and it reminds me of my high school prom when the Prom Queen wasn't who we wanted it to be. We kinda feel like crying. Also, Bill Nye is in New York and not attending this event.
In the whole socialism or barbarism question, the SECB is pretty sure barbarism is sitting on the floor by the bathrooms trying to type up dispatches for the live Slog.
The vibe here is all mixed up. People are excited Grant is going to make it through the primary, but everywhere there are whispers about Nikkita Oliver. In the first batch of election results, Oliver is in third. She’s behind Jenny Durkan—that was expected—but she’s behind Cary Moon, too. While the majority of the SECB, plus the land use nerds at The Urbanist, endorsed Moon, that was basically it. Even the SECB members who actually voted to endorse Moon didn’t seem to expect this to happen! And yet, it appears to be happening—at least for now.
But Grant supporters are largely also Oliver supporters and they’re feeling weird.
“I’m disappointed about Nikkita,” one whispers. “It’s early,” someone else replies.
The Haegawa party is low key and... not cautiously optimistic. Hasegawa is making attempts at reminding us that there are still votes to be counted, but even he is talking about his campaign in the past tense. "I think that we ran a wonderful campaign, Hasegawa said while standing on the steps of his Beacon Hill home, facing a quiet front-yard picnic with about 25 of his most ardent supporters.
Even those ardent supporters have their heads in their hands, however.
When the SECB got here, Hasegawa was pulling on his vape pen and it's still in his hand as we type this. "Pressure's off," we just overheard him say.
But the official Hasegawa take on his fifth place showing: "I wouldn't take much stock in the early voting." Okay, but given the early voting we would take another hit of that vape pen, Bob. One thing Hasegawa has going for him—a lot of his mayoral race signs appear to just be repurposed signs from his last state senate race. So if he still has the blue tape and black pen that made these bad boys, he's ready for his next run!
Here are county-wide election returns, with about 18.68 percent of ballots counted:
It’s closer than they wanted here at Jon Grant’s party, but they’re forcing the optimism. (The SECB, meanwhile, is ordering another drink and talking with Grant’s mom, Carol, some more because she’s fucking great.)
Grant is in second with 24.3 percent of the vote, but that’s only about 1 percent ahead of Sara Nelson in third. (Teresa Mosqueda easily took first with 31 percent.) That 24.3 percent is a smaller sliver of the vote than the 31 percent Grant won in the 2015 primary against Tim Burgess and John Roderick. But Grant says late ballots will favor his campaign and he believes his percentage will grow.
“We got really far, but there’s so much we need to do,” Grant tells his supporters, including a smattering of fresh-faced but socially awkward socialists. “I know that with all of you… we are going to build a powerful force to reckon with that the Chamber cannot suppress, that big business cannot shut down.”
Grant says elected officials “don’t feel the urgency” of rent hikes and other challenges facing working people. “These are folks that are frankly too comfortable,” Grant says, “and we need to start making the powerful uncomfortable.”
WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED. Grown women are shrieking. No one expected this, as noted by the very small crowd. Someone yells "We're gonna have Moon pies!" Someone else yells "We're gonna have a woman mayor!" Someone else yells, "WE HAVE MORE TV CAMERAS COMING PLEASE MAKE THE CROWD LOOK BIG."
BUT HOLD YOUR HORSES PEOPLE. The SECB gamed it out in a corner with someone who follows this mayoral electorate stuff for a living. Oliver's voters are likelier to vote late, so she'll see a big boost and will most likely overtake Moon.
IT LOOKS LIKE SEATTLE WILL HAVE IT'S FIRST WOMAN AS MAYOR SINCE 1928. These returns represent 88,950 of 463,660 registered voters, about 19.18 percent. King County projects a turnout of more than 35 percent.
Jenny Durkan, 27,579 votes, 31.6%
Cary Moon, 13,583 votes, 15.56%
Nikkita Oliver, 12,126 votes, 13.9%
Jessyn Farrell, 10,308 votes, 11.81%
Bob Hasegawa, 7,526 votes, 8.62%
Mike McGinn, 6,247 votes, 7.16%
SECB was pleased to roll into the inauspiciously named Lost Lake restaurant for Jessyn Farrell’s election night party and hear the sweet and sultry bedroom sounds of D’Angelo’s “Untitled” (How Does It Feel). We kinda like Jessyn. She was a transit activist! She secured $500 million from ST3 for Seattle to pay for everything! How does it feeeeeel to be in a crowded mayoral race, Farrell? We have no answer to that question yet because she’s not here. But we do have an answer from these three Farrell supporters about what the fuck is in this box. Pavi on the right says “it could be anything.” Steven in the middle shook the box and said “clothes.” Nick on the left thinks “it’s the movie Se7en.” SECB thinks it’s weed. In other news, we met Jessyn’s dad, Tony Staulcup. He thinks Farrell would be a great mayor because she’s a “wonderful person” and she’s “grounded." Though he doesn’t want to engage in the politics of personal destruction, he did say Farrell would be a good choice after this city’s bad run of mayors. “The previous mayors were a bunch of hacks, including McGinn.”
The SECB has made a mistake.
We arrived at Jon Grant’s party completely sober and a little early and walked in on Grant and a small group of campaign staff/advisers/friends having dinner who did not appear particularly pleased that the SECB was here. Nevermind that the SECB endorsed Jon Grant! Nevermind that we didn’t even call him a serial killer this year! Nevermind that our first question to Grant was not “Where are the bodies, Jon?” or “How about the Tenants Union stuff, huh?”
Well, okay, now maybe the SECB understands why Grant’s team wasn’t particularly excited to see us.
Anyway, tonight will be a big fucking deal for Grant. For a while, it looked like the former head of the Tenants Union was a shoo-in to make it through the August primary and onto the general election. But things have tightened a little as business money has flowed into the race to support Grant’s opponent Sara Nelson. And tonight it feels like anybody could make it through this thing.
Lots of people have their eyes on how Grant fares tonight. The former head of the Tenants Union is now a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. That group of very active Twitter users/anti-capitalist rabble rousers has grown at an obscene rate since Trump’s election. Both the national and local DSA groups have endorsed Grant, and so has Kshama Sawant’s party Socialist Alternative. Grant is also a test case for the city’s new Democracy Voucher system.
Yet somehow Grant seems chilled out beyond belief. How is he feeling, the SECB asks, and he says “pretty good” as if it’s nothing.
“We did the work,” Grant says. His campaign knocked on 23,000 doors throughout the campaign and made 2,000 calls today alone, Grant said. People have been receptive to his message, he says, and they’re sick of the status quo.
“We haven’t seen the amount of change we know Seattle is capable of.”
For the record, Grant won’t say whether he’s more worried about labor champion Teresa Mosqueda or Fremont Brewing owner Sara Nelson tonight. And the SECB, which endorsed Grant, is beginning to wonder what Jon Grant is on to be this fucking relaxed about all this and where we can get some. Because we are freaking the fuck out.
This time two years ago—when Grant ran against Council Member Tim Burgess—Grant was a little more freaked out too. Back then, during his first campaign, Grant didn’t even have a campaign manager until the general election. Today, he’s got six paid campaign staff. Why? He’s participating in Seattle’s first in the nation public campaign financing system and has raised exactly a fuckton of money in those things: $149,500, according to the latest figures on the Seattle Ethics and Elections website, but even more according to the campaign. That’s somewhere north of 80 percent of his total fundraising. The program, Grant says, has been a “game changer.”
Why have tonight’s party at Wonder Ethiopian Restaurant Sport Bar? Because it’s family owned and immigrant-owned, Grant says. Oh, and because last year when he was working on the statewide minimum wage campaign out of the Washington State Labor Council office—the office of the employer of Grant’s opponent Teresa Mosqueda, located just down the street—he came here a lot.
Teresa Mosqueda’s party is pretty lit. Literally: it’s 83 degrees inside the AC-less and increasingly-crowded Optimism Brewery.
The space is packed with so many people, extreme heat, loud music and endlessly-flowing beer that it feels more like a college house party than an election night celebration. The SECB isn’t complaining.
It’s clear that Mosqueda knows how to throw a party. (She even has tamales with cutouts of her face stuck in them!)
Council Member Lorena Gonzalez just walked in, and she’s crowded among heaps of Mosqueda supporters (including one who says Jon Grant “leaves a bad taste” in her mouth), two 15-year-old girls who love Teresa more than democracy itself, and plenty of Seattleites who feel more than eager to communicate to the SECB their dismay with The Stranger.
“I think we have our disagreements, but I still appreciate The Stranger,” a supporter said sympathetically.
And if Mosqueda hasn’t raised enough money yet for her campaign (she reportedly raked in $95,000 from union groups alone), she has one of the bar tables covered with democracy voucher forms and a drop box in which to submit them. So far it has a few vouchers stuffed inside.
A slideshow of Teresa photos is playing and the music is bumping. The smell of victory seems to be in the air. Or is that the tamales?
Mike McGinn may not have the popular momentum of Nikkita Oliver or the war chest of Jenny Durkan, but what he does have is reporters. There are—quite literally—more journalists than supporters 30 minutes after his party at Plum bistro was scheduled to begin. Crosscut columnist/beard Knute Berger is making small talk with the one woman who, it seems, isn't being paid to be here, and we overhear her say that her top choices are McGinn, first, and then Oliver, who she thinks will make a great mayor—someday. It's a good quote—wish we'd gotten to her first. As it is, there are two news vans parked outside, a few volunteers staring at their phones, a Seattle Times reporter using an iPad for the first time, and no line for the bar, which SECB will need to make liberal use of if this party doesn't perk the fuck up. We can expense booze, right?
McGinn shows up just after seven with two teenagers in tow. (Maybe one of them can show the Times reporter how to use her iPad.) The reporters circle. Why should voters choose him? He's experienced, he knows how to run government effectively, and he's a genuine progressive. While McGinn happened to jump soon after the Murray scandal broke, he says he started thinking about running agin in late 2016. "If I believe I had something to offer the city I should give it a shot," he says. Another reporter joins the scrum.
McGinn's first—and so far, only—successful run for mayor was largely credited to the youth vote. An army of grassroots supporters narrowly ushered him in in 2009 before he lost to Murray four years later. This time around, however, the crowd—which, an hour in, has grown enough to fill the room—is decidedly older. Where are the kids? We're guessing at Washington Hall, cheering for Nikkita Oliver.
We've already got sweaty pits and we've barely been at Nikkita Oliver's election night party for an hour. Thankfully, were not alone. Pits stains and sweaty brows are everywhere at Washington Hall, but that doesn't stop The Youth from dancing, chowing down on meatballs and couscous from the buffet, and getting to know their neighbors. (We feel sorry for whoever has to clean this up.)
A quick scan of the room produces a who's who of local organizers, including The Station's Luis Rodriguez, the ladies behind HellaBlackHellaSeattle podcast, local indigenous leaders, and emcee Hollis Wong-Wear of The Flavr Blue, among scores of other local activists.
By 7 p.m., the party shifts into concert mode as youth performers with the Northwest Tap Connection Shakia takes the floor in front of the stage and made Rihanna proud. (Yes, they have better dance moves than all the white folks awkwardly swaying in the hall, combined.) The call-and-responses of “WE'RE GOING TO MAKE THIS WORK!” and “NIKKITA FOR MAYOR!” somehow... don't feel cheesy. Local singer Adra Boo brings down the house before it's even time for results to drop.
Something feels wrong. For once at a mayoral primary party, we’re having...fun? Genuine fun! WE FORGOT WHAT THAT FELT LIKE! Aren't we at an election party? Shouldn't there be someone on stage promising Better Wages For the Middle Class with a martini in hand? If we’re in the wrong place, please don't tell us. (And especially don't tell our bosses.)
Jenny Durkan is an eagle. She is flying high above the Seattle steppe, held aloft by nearly half a million dollars in donations and more than $115,000 in independent expenditures, scanning the bush and desert for her prey. Gasp. Another eagle (maybe Jessyn Farrell) cries off in the distance. But Farrell is too late. Durkan spots it.
Fluffy, white, and full of well-digested organic vegetables, it appears that Durkan's prey identifies as "socially liberal but fiscally conservative." It definitely has one of those all-encompassing "Black Lives Matter and other stuff too" signs on its lawn, but finds Seattle's black activists and their tactics rather repellent. It is nibbling absent-mindedly on some bad, overpriced poké.
Durkan zeroes in with targeted campaign ads. The votes are within reach. She can almost taste it.
Just kidding. Jenny Durkan is human and nowhere to be found yet at her election night party at a Pioneer Square beer haus whose name the SECB is unable to pronounce. It's one of those places that has a menu entirely in German, and when the SECB accidentally places our drink directly on the wooden bar, a bartender hurries over to sop up our mess and place our drink on a proper coaster. The SECB feels ashamed.
The SECB quickly spots two fellow journalists, quite a few older lesbians (it appears, we are totally stereotyping), and a stage set for what could only look like an acceptance speech. The SECB may not agree with Durkan's centrist liberal politics, but we do still want a dyke for president, and briefly it is comforting to be in the presence of women who are ready to crown Durkan their queen of the seven kingdoms. A couple next to the SECB chats amiably about a story they heard on NPR.
But soon our comfort is shattered. Holy fuck, the menu here spells "pretzel" as "brezel." What the shit!
We were worried we would be the only ones at Cary Moon's election night party at Cyclops. Why? Because we were the only ones marked as "going" on Facebook. (Last we checked, there were 35 people who were "interested.") Our worries are proven true when we arrive: We're greeted by an empty booth. Talk about a Stranger endorsement bump.
Of the ten or so people here, a recent high school graduate is bobbing around soliciting interviews for a podcast. She isn't sure what the podcast is about—her friend sent her on an assignment—or what Cary Moon looks like. We're happy to tell her about Moon because yes, duh, we fucking endorsed her. We gave Cary a Stranger Genius Award in 2007 because she's a badass and waged a worthy campaign against the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel. She's also BFFs with Charles Mudede. But we didn't endorse her because of our BFF status
or her magnificent hair, we endorsed her because she does her fucking homework.
But the podcaster doesn't really give a shit about Moon. Her main job is the Seattle Underground Tour and she's reminding everyone that the city burned down on June 6th, 1889. Also, ghosts. There are ghosts underneath us RIGHT NOW. NOT HAPPY GHOSTS. The ghosts are more interesting than the people asking "so how did you become enamored with Cary Moon?"
Speaking of Moon, she enters a little after 7pm. Her crowd flocked to her and discusses their level of enamoredness. We hear someone saying near Moon, "Jenny Durkan is running scared. They didn't expect this to be so hard—they sense they're losing their grip on the city. They're really scared of Nikkita and a revolution."
The free food offerings were picked clean by 7:20. The crowd is small, so the SECB can only conclude that there wasn't much food to begin with. Perhaps the Moon camp is saving funds for the general election. Which, judging from the size of the crowd, might not have been wise.
The SECB felt underdressed the moment we arrived at the Access For All party. The Paramount's chandeliers hang above high brow hors d'oeuvres (Petite Demi Baugette Paninos with double creme brie and crisp green apple). Garfield High School's very own jazz band. The SECB is enjoying our one free drink coupon and company of the arts organizations that would benefit from Proposition 1. Among them: the Pacific Science Center and Seattle Theatre Group.
Bill Nye the Science Guy is nowhere to be seen.
When the SECB accosts Dow Constantine at the Comet, the King County Executive is holding a glass of mysterious clear liquid with a lime. He says it's club soda, which is offensive when you're holding an election night party at the Comet. "Why?" the SECB asks. "Because sometimes I have to talk to reporters," he says. The SECB feels bad now. Maybe it was the Excedrin we chased with whiskey. Oh, and Dave Meinert is here, too.
Happy primary night everybody! The Stranger Election Control Board plans to celebrate by picking at cheese platters and knocking back whiskey. That's right, we're going to parties because our livelihoods depend on it. Literally. We'll hit up celebrations (or funerals) for six mayoral candidates and three city council hopefuls. We'll also check on the nerds who want more funding for arts and science programs. (We didn't get an invite from the elephant lobby.)
Check back for updates.
In the meantime, here's where you can find us tonight.
Here's where to follow results.
What else to read as election day workers tally everybody's votes:
•Predictions We Will Soon Regret
•Who Are the Six Mayoral Frontrunners?
•Where Public Officials (Including Candidates) Stand on the Child Sex Abuse Allegations Against Mayor Ed Murray
•The Race For City Council Position 8 Tests Seattle's New Divides