Bruce Harrell makes history as Seattle’s first Asian and second Black mayor

Bruce Harrell makes history as Seattle’s first Asian and second Black mayor
Jiselle Lee
November 3, 2021
Bruce Harrell has become the second Black and first Asian mayor in Seattle’s history.
Election Day results: Harrell, 63, won by about 65% of the vote, totaling almost 85,000 votes.
  • He won by almost 30 points over his opponent M. Lorena González, who won by about 35% of the vote, totaling just over 46,000 votes.
  • On Nov. 2, Harrell stood on stage at his watch party, accompanied by his wife, children and grandchildren.
  • “These results prove that we can and will change the narrative in this city by coming together, uniting around our shared values, and doing the work to move Seattle forward. I can’t wait to get started,” Harrell wrote on Twitter.
  • Norm Rice, the first Black mayor of Seattle, supported Harrell and gave a speech at his party, according to the Seattle Times.
  • “I have tears in my eyes and joy in my heart and a belief that we moved on because someone believes in where we are and what we are going to be,” Rice said.
Campaign promises: The 63-year-old attorney promised to expand services to the homeless and clean up the city on the campaign trail.
  • Harrell also criticized González’s interest in “defunding the police” and funding other services in government. Instead, he wants to promote “public safety rooted in trust and transparency.”
  • Harrell said he wanted to invest in transit, clean renewable energy and lead the world in tackling climate change.
Harrell’s history: Harrell is the son of a Japanese immigrant mother and a Black father.
  • He said his parents encountered relentless discrimination. His mother experienced internment in America during World War II and his father had escaped Jim Crow laws in the South.
  • Harrell is a graduate of the University of Washington, where he was on a football scholarship to play as a linebacker.
  • He went to law school and worked in technology and telecommunications for decades before running for City Council in 2007.
  • Harrell served on the City Council for two terms, and, later, became its president.
  • In 2017, Harrell served as mayor of Seattle for five days, following the resignation of former mayor Ed Murray.
Featured Image from King 5 (left), Bruce Harrell (right)
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