Updated at 6:05 p.m. with comment from McGinn spokesman Aaron Pickus
Jean Godden today became the fifth Seattle city councilmember to endorse state Sen. Ed Murray for mayor, giving Murray the support of a majority of the nine-member council.
During a news conference at Murray’s Capitol Hill campaign office, Godden said Murray would “restore trust and cooperation between the council and the mayor.” Godden said McGinn had not reached out to her for a one-on-one meeting in more than two years. That’s a contrast to previous Mayor Greg Nickels, with whom Godden said she had regularly scheduled quarterly meetings.
But McGinn’s office disputed Godden’s account, saying the mayor had met personally with her last fall and offered to schedule more meetings if she wanted. “We have a good relationship with her office and have always accommodated requests for information,” spokesman Aaron Pickus said in an email, adding that the McGinn has offered regular meetings to every council member.
Murray argued he’d ensure a more collaborative relationship with the council.
“There is always going to be a tension between the executive and legislative branch — there will be if I am mayor as well. But it doesn’t have to be the way it is today. I can leave one floor and go down and sit in councilmembers’ offices and just chat with them,” Murray said.
Godden said she believes Murray will seriously tackle a reported gender pay gap in city employment. “I am assured he will recruit and promote quality women to positions of authority,” she said.
While individual endorsements don’t mean a lot, there is a symbolic heft to Murray’s campaign being endorsed by a majority of the council. It could give weight to Murray’s argument that he’d be more effective at advancing his agenda than McGinn.
In addition to Godden, Murray has been endorsed by Councilmembers Bruce Harrell, Tim Burgess, Sally Clark and Tom Rasmussen. McGinn has been endorsed by Councilmember Mike O’Brien.
John Wyble, political consultant for the McGinn campaign, dismissed the Murray endorsements. “It’s no surprise that the business-supported city council members support the business-supported candidate for mayor,” he said.
McGinn “has tried to bring a lot of new voices to the table,” Wyble added. “People who like the old way of doing business aren’t very excited about that.”