Murray, McGinn leading in Seattle mayoral primary

(Edited from AP) A state senator who drove efforts to make gay marriage legal in Washington state led early returns in Seattle’s mayoral primary, while incumbent Mike McGinn looked as if he’d avoid being the second consecutive mayor ousted before the general election.

(Edited from AP) A state senator who drove efforts to make gay marriage legal in Washington state led early returns in Seattle’s mayoral primary, while incumbent Mike McGinn looked as if he’d avoid being the second consecutive mayor ousted before the general election.

Ed Murray had 30 percent of the vote in partial results released Tuesday night. McGinn had 27 percent.

“One thing is clear,” Murray told supporters at a campaign party. “The people of Seattle want new leadership.”

Murray and McGinn were significantly ahead of two other major candidates. Former City Councilman Peter Steinbrueck was at 16 percent and City Councilman Bruce Harrell had 15 percent.

Mail-in ballots only have to be postmarked by the date of the election, so officials still have tens of thousands of votes to count in the coming days. The top two primary finishers advance to the November election.

McGinn’s opponents say his governing style is divisive and he has alienated business groups and the state Legislature. McGinn, an attorney and former Sierra Club leader, points to the city’s improving economy, increased spending on education programs and his support for more transit options.

McGinn said he was heading into the November election with backing from people who care about social justice issues, transportation and the environment.

“We got a good, strong coalition,” McGinn said. “This is a race about what type of city we’ll have for the future, and who has a voice.”

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