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

October 17, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Former rival Steinbrueck endorses Murray for mayor

Former Seattle City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck endorsed state Sen. Ed Murray for mayor today.

During a news conference at Cloud City Coffee in Seattle’s Maple Leaf neighborhood, Steinbrueck said he was won over by Murray’s commitment to the city’s industrial sector, gender pay equity and his pledge to involve neighborhoods more in growth planning.

“I have only respect for Mayor [Mike] McGinn. He has led with passion and conviction, but he has left many of us disappointed,” Steinbrueck said.

Repeating a constant refrain of McGinn critics, Steinbrueck said Murray could bring together broader coalitions “rather than polarization and divisiveness.”

The atmosphere at the news conference was celebratory, with Murray leading in the polls and piling up big endorsements. One political operative asked whether a reporter had heard any news about who would serve on Murray’s transition team and administration. But Murray cautioned he was taking nothing for granted in the final weeks of the election.

Steinbrueck, who served on the City Council between 1997 and 2007, placed third in the August primary, taking 16 percent of the vote. City Councilmember Bruce Harrell, who finished fourth just behind Steinbrueck, endorsed Murray last month.

An architect by training, Steinbrueck made neighborhood planning and zoning issues a centerpiece of his mayoral campaign. He said the city’s neighborhood and comprehensive plans, which are supposed to smartly guide growth, have instead been ignored by the city in recent years. Murray has promised to hold a “neighborhood summit” in his first 100 days as mayor to refocus city growth planning efforts.

Steinbrueck also was a leading opponent of a proposed NBA arena in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood. When asked whether he’d seek to overturn the arena agreement, Murray said he considered that matter settled but would work to deal with concerns raised by industrial businesses and the Port of Seattle about the arena’s impacts.

Asked whether he was promised a city job if Murray is elected, Steinbrueck said he wants to stay involved in city issues, but added there was “no quid pro quo” for his endorsement.

A McGinn campaign spokesman had suggested Steinbrueck sought a city job when he spoke with the mayor’s campaign about a possible endorsement. Steinbrueck disputed that, saying it was a McGinn representative who’d raised the idea of a city job.

Murray said he’d rely on Steinbrueck as an adviser and would likely include him in a transition team if elected. But Murray added such talk is premature. “I don’t have the job to offer jobs,” he said.

Comments | More in 2014 elections | Topics: 2013 Seattle mayoral race, ed murray, Peter Steinbrueck


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