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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 11, 2009 at 4:26 PM

Mayoral elections

Nickels unpopular yet will be re-elected

Danny Westneat’s column about the upcoming mayoral election [“The buzz around mayor’s race,” local, June 7] highlights a challenge that confronts voters not just in Seattle but across the nation: are we capable of overcoming the “incumbency phenomenon?” We complain incessantly about our elected officials, but when election time rolls around we re-elect the incumbent more than 90 percent of the time.

Here in Seattle we have an arrogant city administration that runs roughshod over anyone who questions what it does and responds to its screwups with excuses and expensive after-the-fact investigations and studies to determine what went wrong.

One would think voters would want to elect someone who wouldn’t let things go wrong in the first place, yet the common wisdom among local politicos is that we will complacently re-elect the incumbent. Then we will just go on complaining. Go figure.

— Dick Schwartz, Bellevue

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