While the President was bombing Syria and Afghanistan—and still determined to end the Affordable Care Act, deport immigrants, and create a Muslim ban—the political buzz in Seattle has been all about the race for Mayor.
Two months ago, Mayor Ed Murray was headed for any easy reelection. Then, last month Nikkita Oliver, a progressive activist woman of color announced her candidacy, exciting diverse young activists.
Today, former mayor Mike McGinn announced at his home while his band is coming together for another run.
What could have been a lazy campaign has just turned red hot and there’s still a month before filing closes … and rumors abound that other potential candidates are considering a run as we speak.
For IE readers, we need to pay close attention and keep our eyes on the prize. We know that Murray has done some good things for the community and neglected us on others (think Donnie Chin and Navigation Center). But, will a lawsuit against him for sexually abusing a teenager decades ago be too much? At best, it is a sad situation for him, his family, and the city at a time when we can ill afford distractions. Whether true or false, this election is up for grabs.
For some API activists, Oliver reflects their hopes for a new society but has limited campaign or governance experience. She’s an attorney and compelling spoken word artist who reflects a new generation of political leaders. Running against Murray would certainly frustrate him at candidate forums if nothing else. The larger the field of candidates, the harder her chances and the more refined her campaign will need to be.
And, for McGinn, four years out of office can be an eternity. Clearly, he learned a lot the first time around, and would hit the ground running and advocate for the big issues facing the city vs. Trump. Can he win? Where are all those communities of color, environmentalists, immigrants/refugees, and unions? Will the big unions dump Murray and go with McGinn? Will the Seattle Times rehash old news or give him a fair chance? How many of his supporters have been gentrified out of Seattle?
And, the biggest question of all is whether Murray will spare us all the salacious details and drop out. And who else will get in the race? Stay tuned. It’s going to be a real race. REGISTER TO VOTE and pay close attention.