NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, August 6th, 2021

From third to first: Nicole Thomas-Kennedy leads for City Attorney; Pete Holmes concedes

For the sec­ond day in a row, the race for Seat­tle City Attor­ney has seen a lead change. As of this evening’s drop by King Coun­ty Elec­tions, Nicole Thomas-Kennedy is the top vote get­ting can­di­date for the Emer­ald City’s chief law enforce­ment posi­tion, fol­lowed by Ann Davi­son. Incum­bent City Attor­ney Pete Holmes remains in third place and has con­ced­ed the race to his opponents.

Here’s where the race stands right now:

Seattle City Attorney, as of Friday, August 6th, 2021

  1. Nicole Thomas-Kennedy: 35.45% (58,776 votes)
  2. Ann Davi­son: 33.08% (54,839 votes)
  3. Pete Holmes: 31.19% (51,698 votes)

Thomas-Kennedy, forty-six, trailed both Davi­son and Holmes on Elec­tion Night. Had those results been the final results, she would have been eliminated.

But of course, there were more votes left to count. Hav­ing per­formed excep­tion­al­ly well in the late bal­lots, NTK has jumped from third place to first place — an impres­sive accom­plish­ment and one reached in just forty-eight hours.

The trend seems clear enough at this point: in all like­li­hood, when results are cer­ti­fied, Thomas-Kennedy will be the win­ner, with Davi­son close behind.

Holmes cer­tain­ly sees the writ­ing on the wall. In a lengthy state­ment, he con­ced­ed and wished his oppo­nents well. Here is that statement:

After two decades of pub­lic ser­vice to Seat­tle – the last twelve as your City Attor­ney – it’s time to acknowl­edge that my oppo­nents will be advanc­ing to the gen­er­al elec­tion. While defeat is dif­fi­cult to accept, it’s incon­se­quen­tial com­pared to the col­lec­tive pain we’ve suf­fered as a City through­out this pandemic.

Look­ing for­ward, I have five months left as City Attor­ney, and I don’t intend to waste them. I’m already work­ing with Seat­tle City Coun­cil to estab­lish a pub­lic Vic­tim Com­pen­sa­tion Fund to help make crime vic­tims whole. I’ll con­tin­ue to build upon our proven Choose 180 pre-fil­ing diver­sion pro­gram, which has had a 92% non-recidi­vism rate since 2017. And ear­ly next week, I’ll appear before U.S. Dis­trict Court Judge James Robart to report on our con­tin­u­ing effort to reform and improve our police department.

The City Attorney’s Office is staffed with tal­ent­ed and ded­i­cat­ed pub­lic ser­vants, and I expect the next City Attor­ney will learn to rely on the exper­tise of the para­le­gals, recep­tion­ists, infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gists, legal assis­tants, vic­tim advo­cates, and lawyers who made serv­ing in this posi­tion the high­light of my pro­fes­sion­al career.

It’s with their knowl­edge and skills that my suc­ces­sor will be queued up for tri­al against Mon­san­to for pol­lut­ing the Duwamish Riv­er next year, to con­tin­ue defend­ing the Jump­Start tax to aid the unshel­tered, and to cut the rib­bon on a new crim­i­nal diver­sion pro­gram for old­er adults.

As atten­tion turns to the Gen­er­al Elec­tion, can­di­dates can and should levy crit­i­cisms – but I hope the pub­lic holds them account­able to mak­ing accu­rate claims. The City Attorney’s Office does not have juris­dic­tion over felonies like mur­ders, bur­glar­ies, drug offens­es, or auto theft. Low-lev­el cas­es like shoplift­ing and tres­pass are referred to the new­ly-estab­lished Com­mu­ni­ty Court where inter­ven­tion and restora­tion are the out­come, not jail. If we keep things hon­est, Seat­tleites will be reward­ed with a fruit­ful and dynam­ic debate that will help define Seattle’s future for the next four years.

Jour­nal­ists play a key role in this process, too, and I hope that they will be true to their core respon­si­bil­i­ty to help ful­ly inform the voters.

After fac­ing one can­di­date who con­sid­ered my crim­i­nal poli­cies too lax and anoth­er who con­sid­ered them too dra­con­ian, it’s clear Seattle’s a city with frac­tured views, sad­ly reflec­tive of the polar­ized pol­i­tics that grips our nation. Whether the Repub­li­can can­di­date or the Abo­li­tion­ist can­di­date pre­vails in Novem­ber, they’ll face a tru­ly daunt­ing set of chal­lenges, not least of which includes pro­tect­ing the City from an avalanche of lit­i­ga­tion aris­ing out of the Durkan admin­is­tra­tion, and a thou­sands-deep crim­i­nal case back­log wrought by the pan­dem­ic clo­sure of our courts.

I’m beyond thank­ful to my sup­port­ers, donors, Democ­ra­cy Vouch­er hold­ers, cam­paign team, and most impor­tant­ly to the vot­ers who select­ed me to rep­re­sent them in three city­wide elec­tions. Last­ly, I want to thank my wife and fel­low lawyer for tol­er­at­ing life with an elect­ed offi­cial. This Sun­day we’ll cel­e­brate our 40th Wed­ding Anniver­sary – an apt time to con­sid­er our next chap­ters together!

So, con­grat­u­la­tions, can­di­dates, and best of luck in the Gen­er­al Elec­tion. With a city so ide­o­log­i­cal­ly splin­tered, who­ev­er wins will cer­tain­ly need it.

Four years ago, Holmes won reelec­tion with three-fourths of the vote and did not face elim­i­na­tion in the Top Two round at all. What a dif­fer­ence four years makes. It’s a reminder that vot­ers like to pun­ish com­pla­cen­cy when least expect­ed to.

The Top Two elec­tion is slat­ed to be cer­ti­fied on Tues­day, August 17th, 2021.

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One Ping

  1. […] hap­pened in the elec­tion: Seat­tle vot­ers end­ed Pete Holmes’ bid for a fourth term by select­ing Thomas-Kennedy and Davi­son as the top two can­di­dates for the posi­tion. Each can­di­date land­ed in the thir­ties in the actu­al elec­tion, vin­di­cat­ing our […]

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