One early measure of the Seattle mayoral race is the fight for endorsements from the city’s Democratic legislative-district organizations.
The groups of liberal activists, crammed into community centers, schools and union halls, provide an early sounding board and organizing heat-check for candidates at a time when few voters are paying attention.
So far, Mayor Mike McGinn has come up short in his quest to land those endorsements for his re-election campaign. He’s received just one – from the 37th District Democrats (southeast Seattle, including Rainier Valley, Central District and Columbia City), who gave a dual endorsement to McGinn and City Councilmember Bruce Harrell.
The good news for McGinn is that none of his rivals has emerged as a clear frontrunner in these endorsements, either. They have been split among Harrell, state Sen. Ed Murray and former City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck.
Last night, at a meeting of the 36th District Democrats, no candidate emerged with a win. While Murray was the clear favorite, having been recommended for a sole endorsement by the group’s executive board, supporters of other candidates denied him the sole endorsement. Murray and supporters responded by voting down proposals to share any dual or triple endorsements.
Asked whether the paucity of Democratic endorsements is a problem for the mayor, McGinn political consultant John Wyble responded via email: “Mayor McGinn was the only candidate that was in the game in every District. We feel good that he’s got a base of support in every district against a lot of well-known candidates.”
Here is the Democratic legislative-district endorsement scorecard so far:
11th District (Duwamish industrial area, South Park and Georgetown) – Steinbrueck and Harrell.
37th District (Rainier Valley, Central District, Columbia City) - McGinn and Harrell.
43rd District (Capitol Hill, University District, Fremont) – Murray.
46th District (Maple Leaf, Lake City, Laurelhurst) – Steinbrueck and Murray.
36th District (Queen Anne, Ballard, Magnolia) – No endorsement (Murray received the most votes at a meeting Wednesday night, but no candidate received enough votes for an endorsement)
Yet to endorse are the 34th District Democrats of West Seattle, who will meet to pick their favorite next month.