Hoping for a leftist revolution in Tuesday’s vote? Not so fast

Insiders were supposed to be out, and outsiders in. But voters suddenly got a little moderate.

It looks like the revolution may have to wait awhile.

Progressives looking to radicalize Seattle politics and Democrats hoping to ride anti-Trump passions in the suburbs each ran into stiffer winds of moderation than expected in Tuesday’s top-two primary election.

The centrist candidate for Seattle mayor, former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan, was easily besting the 21-candidate field — despite all the perceived momentum for more insurgent anti-establishment figures such as Seattle Peoples Party activist Nikkita Oliver.

It isn’t yet clear who Durkan’s opponent in November’s general election will be (the primary is to choose two candidates to head to a general-election runoff, and vote-counting will continue all week). But Durkan now is the heavy favorite to be the next Seattle mayor, regardless.

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There was a sense restless voters might turn on insider Democrats like Durkan, and instead go outside the traditional party system altogether. But third-party candidates were lagging a bit. In an open seat for City Council, Democratic Socialist Jon Grant was running behind newcomer Teresa Mosqueda (a more traditional labor-backed Democrat), even though Grant has run for the seat before.

Both Grant and Oliver were endorsed by the city’s socialist councilmember, Kshama Sawant, and hailed along with her as an emerging anti-corporate, pro-rent control, anti-police “independent left.” Both still have a chance to make it to the general election. But voters appeared to be saying to the movement: Not so fast.

More evidence of not-so-fastism: Voters were turning down King County’s proposed $469 million sales tax for arts and culture.

It was the kind of feel-good, do-right taxing measure that almost always passes around here. Who isn’t for the arts? Plus the big arts institutions in town raised $1.7 million for their campaign, against no organized opposition.

But maybe generous voters finally are wearying of the endless roulette of tax levies floated by local leaders. So many levies have been approved, maybe the politicians started to take your “yes” votes for granted.

Or maybe voters just thought: The arts? Don’t we have more urgent crises to attend to, such as homelessness and opioid abuse and affordable housing?

Out in the suburbs, the Republican party…

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