Mayor Durkan is the daughter of politician Martin Durkan, who served in the Washington House of Representatives from 1957 to 1959 and in the Washington State Senate from 1959 to 1975. He became chairman of the Senate's Ways and Means Committee in 1965, a position considered "the state's second-most powerful official." He also ran for governor of Washington in 1968 and 1972, but lost both times in the Democratic primary, In 1977 he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives. He later became "one of the most influential and highest-paid lobbyists" in the state and was best known for representing the horse racing industry, helping to "craft legislation about taxation and regulation that allowed horse racing to survive." He also lobbied for the tobacco industry, the timber industry, and others. Durkan's mother, Lorraine Durkan, was the executive editor of the Ballard News. Durkan has seven siblings: lobbyist Martin "Jamie" Durkan Jr.; land-use attorney Ryan Durkan, former special assistant to Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and photographer Tim Durkan; former NBC News correspondent and lobbyist Kathleen Durkan; grant writer Matt Durkan; Meghan Durkan; and David Grant. Washington Representative Denny Heck said that the Durkan family "never quite became the Washington version of the Massachusetts Kennedys, but came about as close as you could get."
Durkan identifies as a lesbian. She and her partner Dana Garvey have two sons. Durkan and Garvey are unmarried and are not registered as a domestic couple, which allowed Durkan to not disclose Garvey's financial records during her mayoral campaign. They own a 70-acre property on Whidbey Island and a 5,000-square-foot mansion in Seattle. Garvey is the daughter of "a Louisiana telecom magnate who sold his wireless telecommunications firm for $400 million" and worked for AT&T Wireless Services as a senior executive. Her company IconAlytics, Ltd. does art authentication research.
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