The Evergrey’s guide to the August 3, 2021 primary

It’s time for another primary for November’s general election! 

By now you should have received your ballot in the mail for the August 3 primary. If you haven’t, you can get a replacement ballot or envelope here or register to vote online here before next Monday, July 26.

The state of Washington uses a top-two primary system which means regardless of party affiliation — all of these races are nonpartisan — the two candidates with the most votes will advance to the general election in November.

We couldn’t fit all the races in this newsletter so be sure to check out the full guide over on our website. (Also of note: We did not list every single candidate running for each position, we provided only the names of the frontrunners.)


The lowdown: After serving just one term, Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan announced she would not seek reelection. In her statement, Durkan said she wanted to focus solely on doing her job this last year rather than trying to also run a campaign. Durkan’s four years have been defined by a global pandemic, a summer of protest calling for the defunding of SPD, and the removal of the encampments of unhoused Seattlites.

Based on a poll by the Northwest Progressive Institute, Bruce Harrell was the most favored of the candidates with Lorena González coming in second. The Seattle Times Editorial Board has endorsed Bruce Harrell and The Stranger endorsed Lorena González.

Extra reading: 


The lowdown: State senator Joe Nguyen (D-West Seattle) presents Dow Constantine with his first real challenge in his 12 years in office as King County Executive. Nguyen volunteered for Constantine’s campaign in 2009 and is presenting himself as the more progressive candidate. Nguyen has voiced his support for free public transit, a wealth tax on the county’s richest, and shutting down the new youth jail.

Constantine has earned endorsements from Gov. Jay Inslee as well as previous governors, Christine Gregoire and Gary Locke. He also won the endorsement of many of Nguyen’s colleagues in the state legislature including Rep. My-Linh Thai (D-Newcastle) who Nguyen has worked closely with. Nguyen on the other hand has been endorsed by Bob Hasegawa (D-Seattle) and The Stranger.

Further reading: 

  • State Sen. Joe Nguyen’s close colleagues endorse his opponent in King County executive race (Real Change News)
  • For the first time in years, there are two serious candidates for King County executive (The Seattle Times)
  • Joe Nguyen challenges 12-year incumbent for King County Executive (International Examiner)


The lowdown: Incumbent, Pete Holmes, faces two challengers who appear to be making this race a lot tighter than expected. Both Nicole Thomas-Kennedy and Ann Davison filed for candidacy at the last minute, before Holmes was running unopposed.

People seem to be split amongst the three candidates. The latest poll from the Northwest Progressive Institute shows Holmes with just 16% of people they surveyed, saying they plan to vote for him. Thomas-Kennedy and Davison each had 14% of the respondents indicate a preference for them. This is similarly reflected by the endorsements won by each candidate. The Seattle Times chose Davison, while The Stranger endorsed Thomas-Kennedy.

Extra reading:

  • A three-way race for Seattle City Attorney: Pete Holmes barely ahead of two challengers (NW Progressive)
  • The Times recommends: Ann Davison for Seattle city attorney (The Seattle Times)
  • Nicole Thomas-Kennedy Vows Not to Prosecute Almost All Misdemeanors (The Stranger)


The lowdown: The three candidates to fill the position that Lorena González is leaving in her bid for mayor come from diverse backgrounds. Representing the business side of things is Sara Nelson the co-owner of Fremont Brewing, Nikkita Oliver a grassroots activist and lawyer, and Brianna Thomas who was chief of staff to González. Out of the three Oliver has raised the most money, with over half coming from democracy vouchers.

The Seattle Times has endorsed Nelson while The Stranger, as expected, chose Oliver. ProPublica, however, endorsed Thomas.

Extra reading:

  • Primary race for Seattle City Council’s Position 9 features Nikkita Oliver, Brianna Thomas and Sara Nelson (The Seattle Times)
  • Seattle City Council Pos. 9 candidates square off in forum over homelessness, the environment, and defunding SPD (Capitol Hill Seattle Blog)
  • Compromise? It’s the question at heart of Seattle council election (Crosscut)

Council Position No. 8

The lowdown: This race isn’t expected to be that competitive. Mosqueda is seeking reelection for her second term in this position. An early poll from the Northwest Progressive Institute has Mosqueda polling well ahead of Martin. The Seattle Times chose not to endorse either candidate.

Seattle School District No. 1 – Director District No. 4 

Seattle School District No. 1 – Director District No. 5

The lowdown: A total of seven candidates are vying for two seats on the Seattle School Board. Four of those candidates are running for the District 4 seat which includes Queen Anne, Magnolia, and Ballard. And three are running for the District 5 seat which covers downtown, Capitol Hill, Chinatown-International District, and the Central Area.

Both The Seattle Times and The Stranger endorsed Michelle Sarju for District 5’s seat. However, The Stranger chose Vivian Song Maritz for District 4 and The Seattle Times chose Laura Marie Rivera.

Extra reading:

  • Seven vie for two seats on Seattle School Board in primary election (The Seattle Times)


The lowdown: The title of this proposition says it all, this levy would support kids and their families in the county. Funding for Best Starts for Kids is set to expire and this proposition not only renews the levy but increases it from 14 to 19 cents per $1,000 of assessed home value. That means it would raise nearly $900 million. One of the programs this levy funds? The Youth and Family Homelessness Prevention Initiative, which estimates they prevented 9,2000 families from entering homelessness. 

Both The Seattle Times and The Stranger endorsed voting for this bill.

Find the complete endorsement guide for The Seattle Times here and for The Stranger here. Candidates with an asterisk by their name indicate they are the incumbent for that particular race.