Jenny Anne Durkan (born May 19, 1958) is an American attorney and Democratic politician serving as mayor of Seattle. She is the daughter of Martin Durkan, who was once considered one of the most powerful politicians in the state. After earning her J.D. degree from University of Washington School of Law in 1985, Durkan began practicing law as a prosecutor; she had many prominent cases both on behalf of the government and for private parties. During this time she also worked for many nonprofits and advocacy groups, and was briefly Governor Mike Lowry's chief lawyer. In October 2009, President Barack Obama appointed her United States Attorney for the Western District of Washington. She held that position until September 2014.Durkan was elected the 56th mayor of Seattle in 2017, becoming the city's first female mayor since the 1920s and its second openly LGBT elected mayor. She took first place in the nonpartisan August primary and defeated urban planner and political activist Cary Moon in the November general election, with over 60% of the vote. She and her partner, Dana Garvey, have two sons.
Durkan's legal career and mayoralty have garnered controversy. She has received criticism for her decision not to prosecute Washington Mutual, her response to the George Floyd protests in Seattle, and her handling of law enforcement during the Capitol Hill Organized Protest. In July 2020 a King County Superior Court judge ruled that her use of tear gas during the protests was sufficient for a petition to recall her as mayor to move forward.