Endorsement Statements

“Jenny Durkan is clearly the best choice”

“The City of Seattle has grown by 100,000 people since 2010, to more than 700,000—a spasmodic boom that reshaped the city’s economy and politics while degrading its livability.

“City residents are rightly anxious. Pressures on affordability have eroded Seattle’s famous tolerance for taxes. Increasing homelessness is tearing at Seattle’s progressive soul. Washington, D.C., has rarely seemed so menacing to city interests.

“Yet, the city’s virtues and potential are as ever-present as the three stunning national parks visible from the Space Needle’s roof.

“In the midst of upheaval, Seattle needs steady leadership from its next mayor. In an unusually deep field of candidates on the Aug. 1 ballot, Jenny Durkan is clearly the best choice. The top two candidates who emerge in this nonpartisan race will face each other on the November ballot.

“Durkan has management chops forged from experience, a broad view of Seattle’s role in the region and state, and a focus on affordability that works for both old and new Seattle.

“Durkan’s roots in Seattle are decades deep, and she can appreciate better than most the challenge and opportunity of the present. Seattle has had four years of pedal-to-the-floor experiments under departing Mayor Ed Murray and a City Council that increasingly veers to the left. The city budget ballooned by $1.4 billion, to $5.4 billion—an increase in city spending of more than $2,000 for every Seattle resident.

“Durkan has a back-to-basics message—emphasizing a commitment to deliver on potholes, homeless services and constitutionally sound policing while de-emphasizing the need for yet another tax increase.

“She has the best approach to working with, rather than against, Seattle’s diverse and innovative business community. She has earned respect from environmentalists, and was a genuine civil-rights leader as the nation’s first openly lesbian U.S. Attorney.  She embraces the challenges of skyrocketing housing prices and widening economic inequality. She is best positioned to satisfy and end federal oversight of Seattle Police because she started the process.

“We trust Durkan with these challenges because of her history. She has a distinguished career in law and civic life even before being tapped by President Barack Obama as the top federal prosecutor in Western Washington. A high-end criminal and civic lawyer from a prominent Seattle family, Durkan has pushed progressive reforms of policy and the courts for decades. She has advised mayors, governors and Attorney General Eric Holder. Durkan defines gravitas.

“She also adds a welcome voice of reason at a moment when Seattle politics tilts toward ideologues. She supports a more progressive state tax structure, but views Seattle’s plan to litigate a city income tax as a costly waste of time. She broadly supports the housing affordability agenda pushed by Murray, who has endorsed her, but Durkan is more protective of single-family neighborhoods where about half the city lives. She is progressive, but pragmatic.

“To address Seattle’s ever-rising homelessness population, Durkan smartly supports more social service outreach team, especially for car campers. While some of Durkan’s opponents advocate for more unsanctioned camps, she does not, calling them immoral.

“And she rightly displays a regional view of homelessness, which is too often defined with go-it-alone Seattle solutions. Her best idea is to consider consolidation of King County’s mental-health and drug-treatment programs with city-funded shelters, breaking down bureaucratic silos and reducing administration.

“Durkan is unequivocally the best candidate to be Seattle’s defender in Washing, D.C. In lieu of empty anti-Trump rhetoric, Durkan could use her federal experience and tenacious litigation skills to protect city interests.

“When Murray stepped out of the race, a field of credible candidates emerged, including former Mayor Mike McGinn, state democratic legislators Jessyn Farrell and Bob Hasegawa, activist attorney Nikkita Oliver and urban planner Cary Moon. Harley Lever, a sensible neighborhood-focused candidate, deserves more attention in the race.

“But Durkan is the only candidate offering the whole package—experience, pragmatic solutions and decades-long civic commitment to Seattle.”

— The Seattle Times, July 7, 2017


“I’ll tell you something about Jenny Durkan — she has progressive values and she’s fought for them ever since she was a baggage handler and Teamster up in Alaska. But having those values isn’t enough — you need someone that knows how bring people together. We need a mayor who combines progressive values with the ability to get things done. Her Seattle Promise plan so that every high school graduate can get community college tuition — very farsighted, very appropriate, very Jenny. She’s advanced some great ideas — micro-housing and building more housing for folks to deal with this housing crisis. These are achievable real term goals. You’ve got a leader in Jenny Durkan who can get these things done. Seattle is a great city. It’ll be even greater with her. We need Jenny now.”

— Governor Jay Inslee


“I am pleased to announce my public endorsement of Jenny Durkan for Mayor. I know her as a dignified and gracious woman of enormous capability and wisdom.”

— Washington State Senator Reuven Carlyle


“We need steady, progressive leadership; someone who can bring us together, set an agenda, get things done, make decisions. That’s who Jenny is.”

— Former Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire


“Jenny Durkan was a fantastic U.S. Attorney and throughout her career has taken on tough issues. Jenny is a faithful friend to Indian people and to me. What happens in Seattle affects all Washingtonians and so I express my full support for her campaign as Mayor.”

— Brian Cladoosby, Chairman, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community


“Durkan is an accomplished and principled defender of individual rights, liberties and freedoms for all.”

— Ron Sims, Former King County Executive and Deputy Secretary U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development


“Through following the campaigns and interviewing the candidates, it became clear that while all the candidates are progressive and pro-labor, Jenny Durkan stood out for her experience, her knowledge, and her ability to step in and be an effective mayor.

“Long-term care workers—and all working families—need a mayor who will continue the path towards building more affordable housing, fighting against income inequality, and providing quality services for people with disabilities, seniors, and other vulnerable residents. I have confidence that Jenny Durkan will be that mayor.”

— Ed Solseng, home care worker and member of the SEIU 775 executive board, and central Seattle resident


“Seattle Fire Fighters are proud to endorse Jenny Durkan for Mayor of Seattle. Jenny will prioritize basic services and public safety and make sure that fire fighters are safe and have the tools we need when you call. Jenny shares Seattle’s values and has the experience to defend them.

“Jenny Durkan will provide the strong leadership working families need in our diverse and growing city.”

— Seattle Fire Fighters Union, Local 27


Seattle needs a strong, steady leader who will be both a progressive champion for working people and keep our economy vibrant and moving forward to create more good middle-class jobs. It’s a crowded mayoral field, but we believe there’s really only one candidate who can deliver on both fronts. That is Jenny Durkan, and that’s why Ironworkers Local 86 is proud to enthusiastically endorse Jenny’s campaign for Mayor of Seattle.

 — Ironworkers Local 86


“We are proud to stand with Jenny Durkan, who will always fight for working families. As a progressive leader, she will bring people together to get results for workers and the city of Seattle.”

— Daren Konopaski, International Vice President for the International Union of Operating Engineers and Local 302 Business Manager


“We are proud to endorse Jenny Durkan for Seattle Mayor. She is the right candidate for Seattle. She will stand strong for the workers of Seattle, while fighting for affordable housing, enforcing labor laws and working to provide job opportunities for the people who have sacrificed so much for the chance to make a living wage.

“Jenny Durkan has been an advocate for our members who have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma, fighting to make sure that our members and their families receive the care and/or compensation that they deserve. We’re going to be with her every step of the way.

“Through her career, Jenny Durkan has proven to us that she has the integrity, the vision and the will to be the next Mayor of Seattle, WA—and we want to help her achieve that goal.”

— Heat and Frost Insulators and Firestop Containment Workers Union, Local 7


“Jenny is an accomplished leader, a civil rights champion, a community builder, and a person who gets things done. She will lead our city in a way that is progressive, inclusive, and values ever corner of our community.

“She understands the urgency of our challenges—the affordability crisis, equitable transportation solutions, criminal justice reform, protecting civil rights—and has the compassion to bring people together to make it happen.

“I have known Jenny since law school. She has been a great partner to me, and I am proud to endorse her for Mayor.”

— Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell


“Jenny has been a champion for clean air and water and for protecting our endangered species and our forests. As U.S. Attorney, she prosecuted those who illegally dumped waste into our waters, cut down old growth trees, and unlawfully harvested scare resources. An innovative national leader in enforcing the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, she was on the front lines prosecuting and deterring polluters throughout the Puget Sound area. Seattle is a vital part of one of the most beautiful regions in the world and a critical leader in the fight against climate change. With Jenny, you will have an environmental champion as your Mayor.”

— Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator under President Obama (2009-2013)


“As national governments become increasingly disconnected and irrelevant, the fate of the planet may depend upon decisions that are made in cities. Seattle has a genuine opportunity to become a global leader in areas as diverse as green energy, fair housing, efficient transportation, optimal density, community policing, healthy sustainable food, fresh water, minimum wages, climate resilience, human rights, abundant accessible open space, and the circular economy.

“Seattle has made episodic progress in all these fields. But, candidly, we are not the global leader in any of them.

“Political campaigns are generally dominated by endless lists of promises made to interest groups. Once in office, the elected leader’s actual achievements are governed by her intelligence, character, compassion, strategic sensibility, energy, optimism, and political toughness. As a long-time admirer of Jenny Durkan, I can testify that she possesses all those traits in abundance. She is genuinely eager to pursue bold goals, and she has the skill to unite diverse constituencies behind her leadership.

“I’m confident Jenny Durkan will be one of the world’s truly great big city mayors.”

— Denis Hayes, President and CEO of the Bullitt Foundation, principal organizer of the first Earth Day