December 3, 2013 at 1:54 PM
Turns out, there is a mayor’s school, or at least a crash course, and Seattle mayor-elect Ed Murray plans to attend.
Harvard’s Institute of Politics will hold a three-day session on leadership and policy for more than 20 incoming big-city mayors Wednesday through Friday.
“I’m looking forward to visiting the Kennedy School at Harvard to hear from experts and from those who have some experience in the mayor’s seat,” said Murray in a statement. “I”m also looking forward to meeting and establishing relationships with my fellow mayors-elect who will soon take the mayor’s seat for the first time. It should be a very useful, productive experience.”
The Seminar on Transition and Leadership for Newly-Elected Mayors is co-sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and is held at the Kennedy School of Government. The new mayors will attend sessions including transitioning from campaign to City Hall, finance and administration, jobs and the economy, public safety, education and technology.
The sessions will be led by top academics, policy experts and politicians.
Outgoing mayor Mike McGinn frequently said on the campaign trail in his failed reelection bid that there is no mayor’s school and he had to learn on the job.
December 2, 2013 at 12:35 PM
Update: 3:40 p.m. – Now with interactive, address-searchable map. Click map image for interactive version. We’ve also posted similar breakdowns for Kshama Sawant’s Seattle City Council win, and for Seattle’s ballot measures on District Elections and Public Campaign Financing
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn lost his bid for reelection with diminished voter support through most of the city.
An analysis of precinct vote returns by the Seattle Times’ Justin Mayo shows a familiar pattern in city politics. Viewed as the marginally more progressive candidate, McGinn carried Seattle’s most liberal inner-core neighborhoods including Capitol Hill, Fremont, Wallingford, the International District and Central District. That’s similar to the electoral base that carried him to victory in 2009.
But Mayor-Elect Ed Murray ate into McGinn’s base even in those neighborhoods. Compared with 2009, McGinn’s support was down everywhere but parts of southeast Seattle.
The sharpest drop was in Capitol Hill, where McGinn’s support tumbled by 8.9 percentage points compared with four years ago. That’s not a huge surprise, as Murray lives on Capitol Hill and represented the 43rd Legislative District for 18 years.
McGinn’s support fell 7.8 percentage points in the University District/Ravenna area and he lost 5 or more percentage points in Ballard, Delridge, Fauntleroy, Lake City, Magnolia, Queen Anne, South Park and West Seattle.
After four years in office, McGinn’s only increased support for his reelection campaign came in the southeast Seattle neighborhoods of Rainier Beach, Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill.
Murray, meanwhile, attracted his strongest support from Seattle’s outer-ring, waterfront-view neighborhoods including Montlake, Magnolia, Laurelhurst, West Seattle and Queen Anne.
Murray ended election night with a double digit lead on McGinn. But the race tightened substantially in later returns. When the election was certified last week, the final result was Murray 51.5 percent, McGinn, 47.5 percent.
November 7, 2013 at 2:59 PM
Seattle Mayor-elect Ed Murray has picked two seasoned City Hall hands to lead his transition committee: former Seattle City Councilmember Martha Choe and King County budget director Dwight Dively.
Dively is a well-regarded city budget expert who spent 22 years at the city, including a stint as finance director, before leaving in 2010 to join King County Executive Dow Constantine’s office.
Choe served on the council in the 1990s and is now chief administrative officer for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The trio go way back — Murray learned the ropes of city government as an aide in Choe’s council office at the same time Dively was on the council’s research staff.
“I think they reflect the type of leadership and the quality of folks that we want to have as part of our transition team and as part of our administration,” Murray said at a news conference introducing his picks at Lakewood Seward Park Community Club.
November 7, 2013 at 10:42 AM
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has conceded the mayor’s race, saying he called state Sen. Ed Murray this morning to congratulate him on his victory and offer support in his transition.
“I let him know he was going to be in for an extraordinary four years,” McGinn said at a morning news conference.
After more ballots were counted Wednesday, Murray was leading by 13,211 votes, with 55 percent support, compared with 44 percent for McGinn.
In a speech at his Chinatown International District campaign headquarters, McGinn acknowledged that he might have rubbed some people the wrong way, but said “I hope people know I was always trying to do the right thing.”
McGinn did not close the door to future political runs, saying he would find a way to be involved in public service once his single mayoral term ends in December.
November 6, 2013 at 4:49 PM
More vote totals released by King County Elections this afternoon confirmed challenger Ed Murray’s easy win over Mayor Mike McGinn in the Seattle mayoral race.
With more than 108,000 ballots counted, Murray led by nearly 13,000 votes with 55.6 percent support, compared with 43.7 percent for McGinn.
Murray already was meeting with advisers and beginning to sketch out a transition plan today, after receiving congratulatory calls from senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, Gov. Jay Inslee and U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, among others.
McGinn acknowledged on election night his single term as mayor was over, but as of this afternoon he had not formally conceded the race.
His campaign spokesman, Aaron Pickus, said McGinn will hold a news conference Thursday morning.
November 5, 2013 at 7:18 AM
State Sen. Ed Murray’s promise of a more collaborative leadership style carried him to victory Tuesday night, as voters signaled they were fed up with four years of Mayor Mike McGinn’s political brawls.
Murray grabbed a commanding 56 percent of the votes counted on election night, compared with 43 percent for McGinn.
At a jubilant party at Neumos on Capitol Hill, Murray took the stage before 9 p.m. to cheers and hugs from supporters, including a pack of elected leaders who’d endorsed him.
Signaling the change in tone he hopes to bring to City Hall, Murray said his campaign “was energized by the belief that Seattle can show the nation that government can work once again.”
Although he acknowledged votes remain to be counted, Murray said if current trends hold, “we are here tonight to declare victory.”
About 90,000 votes were counted in the mayor’s race Tuesday. If King County elections officials’ estimate of 57 percent turnout in Seattle hold, McGinn would have to capture 54 percent or more of the remaining votes to make up his big deficit — a virtually impossible task.
At McGinn’s election-night party at a 95 Slide, a sports bar just a few blocks away, the previously rowdy room was deflated as the vote totals came in.
McGinn stopped just short of conceding, but spoke as though he’d lost his office. “I’m proud of what we did,” McGinn said, saying his administration had lived up to the Sierra Club rule to “leave a place better than you found it.”
In an interview, McGinn said he was not conceding to Murray Tuesday because his supporters deserved to see more votes counted. But he acknowledged “this is a very very deep hole to climb back from.”
Murray, 58, will be Seattle’s first openly gay mayor, and his campaign capitalized on his signature legislative accomplishment — helping to lead the 2012 campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington. He took the stage Tuesday night with Michael Shiosaki, his longtime partner whom he married this summer.
Although he was the incumbent, McGinn ran an underdog campaign for a second term, portraying himself as the righteous warrior willing to take on the city’s business and political establishment.
Trailing in the polls by double digits just weeks before the general election, McGinn’s campaign bet on an energetic get-out-the-vote effort that sought to attract younger voters and others who don’t reliably vote in off-year elections.
At dozens of candidate forums and three televised debates, McGinn, 53, cited accomplishments in office including guiding the city through a recession, doubling the Families and Education levy, a bond measure to rebuild the waterfront seawall and passage of a paid sick-leave ordinance.
But voters remained unconvinced. During the August primary, McGinn faced eight challengers and attracted less than 30 percent of the vote. Polls since then never showed him gaining much ground.
In the final days of the race, the Murray campaign appeared increasingly nervous by a run of bad news, including negative reports about political donations by Comcast to a pro-Murray political-action committee.
After seeming ready to coast to victory, Murray hastily called a series of last-minute news conferences, including one Monday attacking McGinn’s record on downtown crime and police issues.
McGinn’s fate was forecast two years ago, when voters slapped back his efforts to obstruct the Highway 99 tunnel project, opting to move ahead with the long-debated project. McGinn’s anti-tunnel agitating was viewed as a reversal from his 2009 election-eve pledge not to stand in the project’s way.
One political consultant called McGinn a “dead man walking” after the 2011 vote on a largely symbolic tunnel referendum.
During the 2013 campaign, McGinn said he’d only tried to raise tough questions about the tunnel plan, including a provision added by the Legislature that said Seattle taxpayers would be on the hook if there were any cost overruns.
McGinn’s record in office also includes highly publicized fights with the City Council, City Attorney Pete Holmes and former Gov. Chris Gregoire over the tunnel and with the Department of Justice, the council and Holmes over the breadth and pace of police reform.
Gregoire, Holmes and five of nine City Council members endorsed Murray. When asked about their opposition in a recent interview, McGinn said they were part of “the same old power block” that financed Murray’s campaign.
McGinn pushed back against Murray’s constant talk of collaboration, saying leaders should demand swift action on important issues such as climate change rather than waiting for consensus. At one candidate forum, McGinn said he didn’t want to tell his children “we didn’t do enough, but the politicians got along.”
Murray came across flat in some campaign appearances, but advanced a progressive agenda nearly identical to McGinn’s — including expanded transit and a promise to pursue a $15-an-hour minimum wage.
He highlighted his 18 years as a state lawmaker representing Seattle’s 43rd Legislative District. In Olympia, he earned a reputation as a pragmatist who could work across party lines to craft budgets and major transportation packages.
Murray spoke often about the need for the city to take a more regional approach to governance and to mend broken relationships with Olympia, in contrast to McGinn’s often go-it-alone style.
And while McGinn frequently cited statistics to show that overall crime in the city was at a 30-year low, Murray called for new leadership of the Seattle Police Department and clearer directions from the mayor about enforcement of crime downtown.
Murray raised about $776,000 for the campaign, compared with about $466,000 by McGinn.
Independent spending by political-action committees added $500,000 more to the races — with more than $300,000 of that spent by pro-Murray groups.
Although he faced criticism throughout the campaign that he was running on style more than substance, Murray gained confidence and familiarity with city issues as the race wore on and both men attended community forums and three televised debates.
By mid-October, when McGinn repeated his explanation for his sometimes tumultuous first term by saying there is no mayor’s school, Murray retorted, “There is a mayor’s school. It’s called experience in government.”
For more photos, visit the gallery.
November 5, 2013 at 7:00 AM
Washington’s 2013 election has drawn national media attention — and record-setting initiative spending. But voters? They’re not particularly tuned in, elections officials say.
With vote counting beginning today in the all-mail election, Secretary of State Kim Wyman’s office projects 51 percent turnout statewide.
That’s an average turnout for an off-year election, “and we don’t see anything that would have it depart from that,” said David Ammons, spokesman for Wyman’s office. This year’s ballot is “not utterly boring, or scintillating,” he said.
The big-ticket item for political spending is Initiative 522, which would require labeling of genetically engineered foods. Foes of that measure set a state record by raising more than $22 million to defeat it, while the Yes on 522 committee raised about $8 million. Virtually all that cash flowed from outside the state. Voters also are deciding the fate of Initiative 517, which would make it easier to place future initiatives on the ballot.
Higher turnout is expected in Seattle, where voters will decide whether to return Mayor Mike McGinn to a second term or replace him with state Sen. Ed Murray. That race has set fundraising records, too, with more than $2.6 million pulled in by the campaigns and independent expenditure groups.
November 2, 2013 at 3:13 PM
We must be in the final days of Seattle’s mayoral race.
State Sen. Ed Murray held his second news conference in 24 hours Saturday morning, responding to last-minute campaign maneuvering by Mayor Mike McGinn and his supporters. They caused a stir online this week, reacting to a Washington Post story about Murray’s campaign contributions from Comcast and some Planned Parenthood robo-calls in support of Murray that went out on Tuesday.
Murray’s campaign, which has seemed comfortably in the lead, seemed less certain Saturday as the Senate Democratic leader accused McGinn’s campaign of “harassment” and “cyberbullying” because some of the mayor’s supporters put on Facebook the cell phone number of a Planned Parenthood staff member.
Asked why he would engage the mayor at such a late stage of the game, Murray said: “I don’t believe the polls. I don’t believe we’re that far ahead.”
He also said the McGinn campaign’s reaction to Murray’s Planned Parenthood support demanded a response. McGinn’s campaign said Planned Parenthood’s calls left the impression that McGinn was not pro-choice, when he and Murray are actually ideologically the same, with 100 percent pro-choice ratings. Jeff Sprung, a board member with Planned Parenthood’s political arm, said the calls did not mention McGinn, and said the group voted unanimously to endorse Murray because of his longstanding leadership on the group’s issues in the Legislature.
To push back, some McGinn supporters posted on Facebook the phone number for Planned Parenthood’s political arm that was listed on the city’s Ethics and Elections Commission website. That turned out to be the cell phone number of a Planned Parenthood staff member. When she asked to have it changed to the main Planned Parenthood phone number, the campaign asked supporters to edit their Facebook posts, said Aaron Pickus, a McGinn campaign spokesman.
Sprung said the staff member did receive some calls, but he doesn’t know how many or what the impact was of having the phone number on social media.
Reporters asked Murray again Saturday whether he would denounce another ad by an outside group, about McGinn’s record on domestic violence. The Seattle Times found the ad mostly false. Murray said he would not denounce the ad. In fact, he said, he has not even watched it.
“I am not going to denounce the ad,” he said. “I think (McGinn’s) record on this issue is not good.” He also has not read the script of the Planned Parenthood calls made on his behalf, he said.
November 1, 2013 at 10:42 AM
Correction: An earlier version of this blog post incorrectly said Comcast has a monopoly on local Internet service. Other companies also offer the service.
Mayoral candidate Ed Murray responded today to a Washington Post story yesterday that said Comcast was giving big money to his campaign because he might stop a public-private broadband network being pushed by Mayor Mike McGinn.
McGinn has proposed a partnership with Gigabit Squared and the University of Washington to lease fiber to the private sector to build a better broadband network. It’s a spin on McGinn’s original 2009 campaign promise that he would make a publicly owned broadband network in Seattle. Once in office, he determined that was too expensive.
Today, Murray’s campaign released a statement saying he supports McGinn’s broadband plans:
“A story posted online on the Washington Post web site yesterday incorrectly implies that Ed Murray might not be supportive of citywide high speed broadband because Comcast has contributed to his campaign. As we made clear to the reporter yesterday — and as the article reports — Ed does support the city’s current efforts with Gigabit Squared to create a high-speed broadband network.”
Murray went on to say in the written statement that speculation in the article that Murray might not support all of McGinn’s initiative “is simply wrong.”
“Ed thinks competition is a good thing, and supports the creation of a citywide high-speed broadband network.”
It’s another example of the two candidates agreeing on a policy issue. Murray has said in his campaign that he doesn’t question McGinn’s progressive values and wouldn’t change anything about the consent decree the mayor negotiated with the Department of Justice about the Seattle Police Department. The race, Murray has said, is about style, and he opposes McGinn’s sometimes combative approach.
Comcast, the dominant local provider of Internet service, and its local executives, have contributed about $2,000 directly to Murray’s mayoral campaign. In addition, Comcast and a PAC funded by Comcast have given $10,000 to PACs supporting Murray.
“Comcast is a very sophisticated company,” McGinn said today. “They’re not putting thousands of dollars into this unless they believe they are threatened.”
The McGinn campaign went bonkers yesterday — tweeting the story, sharing it on Facebook and McGinn emailing the link directly to supporters — after seeing the Washington Post story and resulting blog posts about the Comcast contributions. The story stemmed from a reddit Q&A the mayor did recently, but it never got traction in the local media.
And now, Seattle Times technology blogger Brier Dudley has chimed in.
October 30, 2013 at 5:36 PM
The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission today approved a $1,500 fine against a political action committee (PAC) supporting Ed Murray for mayor for failing to report the source of a campaign contribution.
The vote was 4-0 to levy the fine, with half suspended if there are no further violations through the 2015 election cycle. An investigation by commission staff found that Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy (CASE), the political arm of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, violated city campaign disclosure rules when it failed to disclose a $15,000 contribution from Vulcan that was earmarked for Murray. CASE bundled contributions from many business groups and distributed them to campaigns for several different races in the primary election.
Because the Vulcan contribution came with restrictions about which race it could be used in, the source of the money should have been reported and Vulcan listed as one of the top five donors on literature mailed by People for Ed Murray, the commission investigation concluded.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn’s re-election campaign filed an ethics complaint in September alleging that two business-funded PACs colluded to conceal information from Seattle voters, including other business donations to the Chamber PAC. The Murray campaign was not implicated in the findings.
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