Steve Scher sat down with former Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna and former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels on Tuesday night as the first ballot results were released, around 8:15 p.m. (The results will be updated daily in the afternoon as mailed ballots are counted until all the races are finalized.)
A few key campaigns boasted favorable leads with the initial counting. In the Seattle mayor's race, Sen. Ed Murray was ahead of Mayor Mike McGinn with 56 percent of the vote. McGinn, who had 43 percent of the vote, did not to concede though on Tuesday.
Nickels explained one of the keys to Murray's early success.
Ed Murray's message was very simple: I'm not Mike McGinn. And that was enough of a message. Usually with an incumbent, and with a decent economy, you have to make the case why that official should be fired. In this case, the public had apparently already gotten there because his numbers never moved. He had a good campaign, I think it was a very smart campaign.
Initiative 522, which would have required the labeling of food with GMO products, likely will not pass as voters so far have decided against the measure at 55 percent. Even more doomed at 40 percent is Initiative 517 — the initiative about initiatives — that would increase protections for signature gathers.
In SeaTac though, the hard-fought Proposition 1 to increase minimum wage for airport workers to $15 an hour brought in 54 percent of the vote.
The dark horse of the Seattle City Council race, socialist Kshama Sawant, trailed incumbent Richard Colin by a vote of 46 to 54 percent. Scher, Nickels and McKenna discussed the possibility that her loss could pave the way for a future socialist candidate to succeed.