Real Change executive director Tim Harris says he won’t support Mayor Mike McGinn for re-election this year. He’s rooting for former Seattle City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck, whom he expects to announce a campaign for mayor in the next couple of weeks.
Harris supported McGinn in 2009 and helped form a coalition of environmental and human-services support for the mayor. Harris was front-and-center for the first political victory of the mayor’s term, his veto of an aggressive-panhandling bill passed by the council. But Harris said in an interview that he doesn’t think the mayor can beat City Council member Tim Burgess, who announced this week he’s running.
McGinn called Harris personally to ask for his support, Harris said, but he couldn’t persuade Harris, at least, that he has what it takes to win. Harris’ lack of support re-enforces a perception that the McGinn is vulnerable. In 2009, he was an underdog and lacked support of the city’s elite, but he had the votes of Harris and others who had been disenfranchised at City Hall.
“I have a lot of conversations with a lot of people,” Harris said, “I’m just not running into a lot of hard-core McGinn loyalists out there. In the conversations that I have with folks, I’m just not hearing a ton of support. You know, I hear that he’s pissed off a lot of people.”
Steinbrueck said he appreciates Harris’ support, although he hasn’t yet decided whether he will run. He is seriously considering it, he said.