Seattle is on its way to electing a new mayor.
State Sen. Ed Murray built a comfortable lead over incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn in the first round of ballot counting Tuesday night.
The two candidates embraced similar policy positions, including a $15 minimum wage, new taxes and legal marijuana.
During the campaign, they offered a contrast in their strategies for pushing those policies.
Murray said McGinn’s approach during his first term alienated groups and political leaders in Olympia, making it harder for Seattle to win support for its priorities.
McGinn questioned Murray’s effectiveness, given that a Republican-dominated majority now controls the state Senate.
Murray’s message helped him build a broad coalition of backers, including substantial endorsements and financial support. Combined, Murray and McGinn raised and spent more than $1 million, with Murray leading the money race by a few hundred thousand dollars.
Before becoming mayor, McGinn was an activist with the Sierra Club, and he has continued to stake out a message of environmental stewardship.
Murray is a longtime state lawmaker who led efforts to legalize gay marriage. He’s also led efforts to broker major deals in Olympia, such as transportation revenue packages that were passed in 2003 and 2005. If elected, he would be Seattle’s first openly gay mayor.