Seattle’s primary election results for mayor won’t be certified by the Martin Luther King County elections department until Aug. 15, but it looks like the front runners are women. On election night former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan, engineer Cary Moon and educator Nikkita Oliver were leading the pack in a mayoral race that attracted 21 candidates.

Mayor Ed Murray’s decision not to campaign for reelection left the door wide open for some new faces to join in the fray. Former mayor Mike McGinn, however, has not done so well, receiving only 7 percent of the vote.

It’s clear that the voters want something new. They are simply fed up with the usual crowd of male centrist neo-liberals who have dominated City Hall’s most powerful office.

It’s been nearly a century since Seattle had a female mayor. Bertha Knight Landes won her election in 1926, but it’s been far too long since a woman has presided over that office.

In the wake of the Trump election, the city has moved farther to the left. As has been reported in other local publications, socialism is no longer a dirty word. Social Democrats have been gaining more support, and the People’s Party convinced many residents to support Oliver as a protest vote against “business as usual” in Seattle government.

Maverick progressive mayoral candidate Jessyn Farrell  also received a double-digit percentage, according to Tuesday night’s initial election results. Labor leader Teresa Mosqueda and Democratic Socialist Jon Grant are currently leading the race for Seattle City Council Position 8. Strong progressive candidates are also doing well in their campaigns for the Port of Seattle Commission, including former city council president Peter Steinbrueck, Ryan Calkins, Amed Abdi and Preeti Shridhar.

When Socialist Alternative party member Kshama Sawant was elected to the city council in 2013, the balance of power began to shift steadily to the left. Her grassroots campaign proved that an outsider could win over a longtime incumbent (Richard Conlin). Sawant’s fiery rhetoric and uncompromising stands on working-class issues have made her an icon of the new left coalitions in Seattle. The $15/hour minimum wage movement has now swept across the country, partially due to her personal commitment and support for the idea. Police accountability, affordable housing and a city income tax have also been promoted successfully by the coalition that surrounds this new group of progressive and socialist candidates for office.

New faces emerged to challenge the status quo at a time when many longtime residents were ready to throw in the towel and give up on ever countering the rampant corporate greed and gentrification that has transformed the community into an expensive playground for wealthy speculators and billionaires. With homelessness at crisis proportions and a mass economic exodus to other regions gutting the city of its working-class residents, the voters have finally had enough.

The insincere policies of neo-liberals are no longer acceptable to the majority of voters. A backlash is brewing, which is clearly evident in the voting patterns of this latest election. Republicans and conservatives have never been able to gain a foothold in the Emerald City. What has surprised many political observers and editorialists is the current trend toward Democratic Socialism. Maoists and Stalinists are not about to take over the city government, but the fake politics of neo-liberalism is being challenged directly by a strong movement for social and economic change.

The relative success of Sawant and these grassroots coalitions has reenergized those on the left who want to preserve some of the qualities that made Seattle a great place to live. Entrepreneurs and big business should take note of this trend and reevaluate their push for high rents and low wages. The Downtown Seattle Association and the Chamber of Commerce should wake up and smell the roses.

There’s a change coming to city politics that might actually help us to establish a more livable city.