Cary Moon boosts lead over Nikkita Oliver in Seattle mayor’s race

Jenny Durkan remained comfortably in first place in the top-two, non-partisan primary that sets the field for November.

Cary Moon expanded a slim lead over Nikkita Oliver in Wednesday returns as the two battled for second place in the primary election for Seattle mayor.

The urban planner’s advantage over the educator and attorney is now 1,978 votes, up from 1,457 in Tuesday returns.

Moon’s share of the vote grew from 15.6 percent to 15.7 percent, while Oliver’s share slipped from 13.9 percent to 13.8 percent, as about 15,000 additional ballots were counted.

The top two finishers in the nonpartisan race will advance to the Nov. 7 general election.

Jenny Durkan remained comfortably in first place, though her share of the vote shrank slightly, from 31.6 percent Tuesday night to 31.5 percent.

“We’re not yet claiming victory,” Moon said in a statement. “As an engineer, I want to make sure we have our facts right, and as a coalition builder I respect the positions of my fellow candidates. It’s going to take all of us working together to ensure our city’s future is not sold to the highest bidder. Let’s see what tomorrow’s counts show us.”

Former state Rep. Jessyn Farrell has 12 percent and said Wednesday that she would be very surprised to move into second place.

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Ballots will be counted for several days. Results will be certified Aug. 15.

The Wednesday returns reflected neither ballots placed in drop boxes Tuesday night nor mailed ballots that were postmarked Tuesday, according to King County Elections.

In past Seattle elections, late ballots — some cast by younger voters — have boosted more activist candidates, such as City Councilmember Kshama Sawant.

Machine recounts are mandatory when candidates are separated by fewer than 2,000 votes and also less than 0.5 percent of the total votes cast for both candidates. Manual recounts are mandatory when the gap is fewer than 1,000 votes and less than 0.25 percent of the total votes cast for both candidates.

Candidates also can request recounts.

Before the new returns Wednesday, Oliver sounded optimistic.

“We definitely feel we have a good shot,” she said. “There are still a lot of ballots that have to be counted, and we know our voting bloc tends to vote later.”

Dollars and doors

Reflecting on the early returns, candidates and onlookers pointed…

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