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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

July 19, 2013 at 5:37 PM

McGinn flier emphasizes basics like pothole repair, sidewalks

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn’s first campaign mailer arrived this week and highlighted his efforts to address the big backlog in the city’s basic transportation maintenance. The flier, timed to coincide with the arrival of ballots for the Aug. 6 primary election, repeats a theme from his television commercials: “What if we had a mayor who …” and the answer, “We do. And his name is Mike McGinn.”

In this case, the question is, “What if we had a mayor who invested in basic infrastructure like pothole repair, sidewalks and our seawall?” The reverse side of the flier lists the city’s work on Safe Routes to Schools, pothole repair, sidewalk expansion and replacing the crumbling waterfront seawall.

The flier counteracts the popular perception that in the infrastructure department, McGinn is most identified with his advocacy for mass transit, including new light-rail lines, and for improved bicycle commuting. McGinn campaign strategist John Wyble says the mayor doesn’t get enough credit for tripling the number of pothole repair crews or dedicating money saved from other transportation projects to basic road maintenance.

Some longshore workers, though, may howl at the prominent cover photo of a worker in a safety vest shown against a background of a container ship at an unnamed port. Wyble said it’s a stock photo, not a Seattle worker and not a Port of Seattle terminal. Seattle longshore workers are suing to block the mayor’s plan to build a new sports arena in Sodo, a project they say will add to congestion and jeopardize their jobs.

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