Seattle voters approve housing levy, reject elevated park plan

The race to replace long-time incumbent Jim McDermott in the 7th Congressional District is officially down to two candidates.
State Sen. Pramila Jayapal, and Rep. Brady Walkinshaw took the top spots in last week’s primary, as the pair of Democrats earned a spot on the November ballot.
Jayapal handily won the primary, with nearly 42 percent of the vote, while Walkinshaw and King County Councilmember Joe McDermott were locked in a close battle for second.
McDermott held that spot on election night, but the returns in the days that followed put Walkinshaw ahead. On Friday, McDermott officially conceded.
In an email to supporters, he said he was disappointed in the result, but excited to continue serving King County in his current role.
“I remain confident and hopeful that real work can be done on the important issues we’ve led on during this race — campaign finance reform including overturning Citizens United, and tackling the public health epidemic that is gun violence in our country,” he said. “I remain just as passionate about these issues moving forward as I was in 2008 when passing statewide campaign finance reform, in 2013 when we declared gun violence a public health crisis in King County, and over the past seven months of this hard fought campaign.”
Meanwhile, Jayapal said in a statement on election night that her campaign, and the progressive movement, is built on collective values.
“We’re building a movement that can and will reshape our government into one that lifts all of us up without tearing any one of us down, a movement that revolutionizes how campaigns are funded, with grassroots support and without corporate PAC money,” Jayapal said. “We’re building a movement that can clearly stake out a positive vision for the future of America at a time when too many people feel cynical about change, and when too many people are struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table. We want to build a movement that provides quality education opportunities for students, regardless of income level, and a movement that stands up for immigrant, worker, and women’s rights.”
In a pair of city-wide races, Seattle voters gave the thumbs up to a renewal and expansion of the housing levy, while rejecting a plan for an elevated waterfront park.
More than 70 percent of voters approved Proposition 1, which replaces the expiring $145 million housing levy passed in 2009 with a $290 million measure to fund affordable housing. For the owner of a median assessed home, the measure means an additional $5 a month in property taxes, and, according to proponents, will fund approximately 2,150 additional affordable apartments for at least 50 years, along with emergency rental assistance to prevent homelessness for nearly 5,000 families.
Initiative 123 had called for an elevated park that would run from Pike Place Market to Centurylink Field along the current path of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
However, the measure failed to gain much traction, and opponents called it “unfunded and irresponsible,” as a direct conflict with the existing Waterfront plan. More than 80 percent of ballots cast were against the initiative.
Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw released a statement on the initative’s defeat, saying the result meant that “we can continue the inclusive community effort to create a welcoming gathering space for families and tourists alike.
“We’re years into our waterfront planning efforts, which has been shaped with feedback from thousands of residents,” she said. “We can look forward to recreation space, walking and bicycle paths, commerce, public art, a beach, public piers, play spaces for families, an expanded aquarium and Pike Place Market, and more. If you aren’t already engaged in the waterfront planning process, I encourage you to get involved with Friends of Waterfront Seattle to become part of the transformation.”
Here’s a look at how some of the other races with local ties are shaping up for November:

36th Legislative District
All three members of the 36th District delegation to Olympia — Sen. Reuven Carlyle and Reps. Gael Tarleton and Noel Frame — ran unopposed, and will have no challengers on the ballot in November.

Secretary of State
Former Seattle City Councilmember and Queen Anne resident Tina Podlodowski easily advanced for what should be a close general election battle with Republican incumbent Kim Wyman. Podlodowski is attempting to become the first Democrat to hold the position in more than 50 years.

State Auditor
The race to replace embattled outgoing auditor Troy Kelley will not include a Queen Anne resident.
Despite having a comfortable fundraising lead over his opponents, Jeff Sprung was running third, behind Republican State Sen. Mark Miloscia, and fellow Democrat Pat McCarthy, the current Pierce County Executive. As of Monday, Miloscia led with 37 percent of the vote, with McCarthy at 29, and Sprung at 24.
Sprung fared much better in King County, where he led all candidates with almost 40 percent of ballots cast.

State Treasurer
Two Republicans will vie for the position currently held by outgoing incumbent James McIntire. The Democrat has held the role since 2009.
Interestingly enough, Duane Davidson and Michael Waite combined to receive less than 50 percent of the vote, while a trio of Democrats took 51 percent.
Among that trio was state Sen. Marko Liias, former Seattle Port Commissioner Alec Fisken, and Queen Anne resident John Paul Comerford.
Comerford, a member of the Queen Anne Food Bank at Sacred Heart Board of Directors, was in fourth place as of Monday afternoon with 18 percent of the vote.

To see full primary election results from King County, go to For statewide results, visit

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