Topic: 2013 Seattle mayor’s race
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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.
October 14, 2013 at 7:00 AM
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and state Sen. Ed Murray trod well worn ground for much of the second televised mayoral debate Saturday night on KOMO 4. But there were fireworks when the rivals got to directly interrogate one another on perceived leadership flaws.
For much of the hourlong debate, McGinn smiled at the camera and made a case that — despite what his critics would have you believe — he’s been a good listener in his first term. And he said he has racked up accomplishments, such as an overall low crime rate and a growing local economy, that merit another four years.
Murray, who spoke in calm, flat tones even when delivering his most aggressive attacks, said Seattle is ready for a politically experienced mayor who will work with the City Council instead of fighting it. His answers throughout the night showed, Murray clearly came to the event with a strategy to appeal to female voters and neighborhoods worried about growth.
Once again, actual policy distinctions were hard to come by. McGinn and Murray clashed the hardest in the middle of the debate when each was allowed to ask the other a question. Both punched at sore spots, revealing what they believed to be leadership flaws they believe might sway voters in the few weeks remaining in the 2013 mayoral race. (more…)
September 16, 2013 at 10:01 AM
Updated at 1:25 p.m. with comment from Mayor McGinn via Times reporter Lynn Thompson.
A new KING 5 poll shows Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn badly trailing challenger Ed Murray in the mayor’s race.
Murray leads with 52 percent support, compared with 30 percent for McGinn, according to the poll of 503 likely voters conducted by SurveyUSA.
John Wyble, a consultant for the McGinn campaign, took issue with the poll, suggesting the mayor was in better shape than it showed. For example, Wyble noted only 10 percent of the poll sample was cell phones versus 90 percent land lines. “I think we are behind but it’s much closer than this poll suggests,” Wyble said in an email.
Asked about the poll at a news conference Monday morning, McGinn downplayed the numbers, saying they don’t reflect his support among communities of color and low-wage workers. ”This is why you run races,” McGinn said. “At the end of the day, it will be the voters who make the decision.”
A 22-point lead in the poll is obviously good news for Murray, but his campaign also was quick to express caution.
August 20, 2013 at 5:41 PM
Maybe they were bored, or distracted by summer vacation. Whatever the cause, most voters in King County sat out the recent primary election.
Just 29 percent of the county’s 1.2 million registered voters returned ballots in the Aug. 6 election, according to King County Elections, which certified the final election results Tuesday. Statewide turnout was even lower – just 26 percent, according to the Washington Secretary of State’s office.
Interest was somewhat higher in Seattle, where turnout hit nearly 36 percent thanks to a crowded mayoral primary.
“This was a pretty quiet election,” said Kim van Ekstrom, spokesperson for King County Elections, noting that four years ago there was a competitive King County executive race and a plastic bag tax measure on the ballot as additional draws for voters.
July 10, 2013 at 9:35 AM
Seattle’s mayoral primary is just around the corner. Ballots will be mailed on July 17 for the Aug. 6 election.
But how many voters will take a break from our short season of sunshine and festivals to participate?
Look for turnout to be relatively low – and dominated by older voters.
King County Elections is unofficially estimating a 35 percent turnout for Seattle’s election (a formal forecast will be out in a week or so), said spokeswoman Kim van Ekstrom.
That would be lower than the 38.6 percent who voted in the 2009 Seattle primary, when voters dumped then-Mayor Greg Nickels, but higher than the 30 percent turnout in 2005 when Nickels sailed through against weak opposition.
With no presidential election to draw them in, younger voters tend to sit out off-year primaries, leaving the chore to their elders.
In the 2009 mayoral primary, 44 percent of the ballots were cast by voters 60 or older, and 73 percent came from people 45 or above. Just 5 percent came from the under 30 crowd. The median age of voters in that primary was 58. (That’s according to an analysis of voting data by The Seattle Times’ Justin Mayo.)
That’s a much different demographic than in big presidential elections. In the 2008 general election, which broke turnout records, just 29 percent of Seattle voters who participated were 60 and older. The median age of Seattle voters that year was 48.
See Mayo’s chart at right for a side-by-side lineup of the relative Seattle voter demographics in the 2009 primary versus the 2008 general.
July 9, 2013 at 11:55 AM
State Sen. Ed Murray is launching his first TV ad of the mayoral race — a positive biographical sketch of his career as a legislator.
Opening with a shots of President John F. Kennedy, Murray says his parents were inspired by Kennedy and with the idea they could make a difference. “When I realized I was gay, I thought I would never have that chance,” Murray says. “But Seattle is a special place.”
Murray briefly recounts his 18 years in the Legislature and his efforts to fund transit and education, and his authoring of the state’s gay marriage law. “Seattle can do better. Join me and we will live up to our progressive values together,” he says.
The ad closes with a shot of Murray walking with his longtime partner, Michael Shiosaki.
Murray’s ad starts Wednesday on cable, with an initial one-week buy of $26,000, according to his campaign.
Mayor Mike McGinn and City Councilmember Bruce Harrell have their own ads already running on cable.
And businessman Charlie Staadecker is out with some lighthearted web videos portraying himself as the mayoral race version of Dos Equis’ “most interesting man in the world.”
July 3, 2013 at 5:02 PM
The first cable-TV ads of the Seattle mayoral race are out — dueling spots from Mayor Mike McGinn and City Councilmember Bruce Harrell.
Harrell’s spot opens with a dark image of Seattle and McGinn. As the picture crumbles, Harrell intones, “Our current mayor has failed and fractured our city.”
The ad then segues into a heroic bio of Harrell. “A valedictorian from a Seattle public school, leading the Huskies to a Rose Bowl win. An attorney helping area companies create jobs. A councilmember fighting for pay equity for women.”
McGinn’s ad talks up his concern for public schools via a plug from Estela Ortega, executive director of El Centro de la Raza.
Ortega, who co-chairs McGinn’s re-election committee, asks, “What if we had a mayor who made education a priority?” She then touts McGinn’s school initiatives, including “Be Here Get There,” which rewards kids who meet attendance goals and even offers them wake-up calls in the morning.
“What if we had a mayor who launched a citywide attendance campaign because kids can’t learn if they’re not in school?” Ortega says. “We do. And his name is Mike McGinn.”
Neither buy is huge. Harrell’s campaign said it has booked $11,000 for its ads so far. McGinn’s campaign said it is spending $60,000 on its spots, which begin July 5.
Expect other mayoral campaigns (those who can afford it) to join them on the small screen soon. A consultant for state Sen. Ed Murray’s mayoral campaign said he was at a video shoot for a forthcoming ad on Wednesday.
June 26, 2013 at 12:37 PM
State Sen. Ed Murray grabbed two key endorsements Wednesday for his mayoral campaign.
Washington Conservation Voters, a statewide environmental group, lauded Murray’s 94 percent voting record on its scorecard during his time in the Legislature. Brendon Cechovic, WCV’s executive director, said Murray’s “proven leadership skills” set him apart in a field of generally green candidates. (WCV did not endorse anyone in the 2009 mayor’s race, and Murray needed a two-thirds vote of group’s King County chapter to nail down the sole endorsement.)
WCV’s endorsement does not mean the environmental community is united in the race. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, who has led the fight against coal trains in the state, has the endorsement of the Sierra Club and prominent environmentalists including Bill McKibben.
Murray also received the sole endorsement of the Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy (CASE) — the political arm of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
In a statement, Chamber CEO Maud Daudon said Murray was endorsed for his commitment to “fair and predictable regulation” and ability to “bring together broad bipartisan coalitions around complex and groundbreaking issues, from transportation to marriage equality.”
While it’s unwise to make too much of single endorsement, it is significant that Murray was able to receive sole nods from the business and environmental organizations in the relatively crowded field of mayoral candidates. And it’s another sign that significant parts of Seattle’s power structure may be coalescing behind Murray as the Aug. 6 primary approaches.
June 14, 2013 at 12:19 PM
The Seattle mayor’s race is heading to the small screen.
Mayor Mike McGinn’s re-election campaign has locked in $24,300 in cable television ads — the first candidate to make a TV buy ahead of the Aug. 6 mayoral primary.
The 30-second ads will run on a variety of cable channels from July 5 to Aug. 5, according to a summary of the buy on file at Seattle’s Comcast office. (By law, TV stations have to make details of political ad purchases available for public review.)
John Wyble, McGinn’s campaign consultant, said the mayor’s ad has not yet been recorded. “We haven’t cut it. It’s on my list of things to do today is start writing,” he said.
Wyble said the campaign likely will add more TV buys in the coming weeks. McGinn’s campaign had $126,000 in the bank as of the end of May.
Look for his rivals — at least those who can afford it — to join him on TV soon.
June 13, 2013 at 2:02 PM
State Sen. Ed Murray notched a sole endorsement for his mayoral bid from the 34th District Democrats in West Seattle Wednesday night, beating out Mayor Mike McGinn after two rounds of voting.
A first round of balloting saw McGinn and Murray rise to the top of the field, ahead of the other mayoral candidates who showed up to compete — Councilmember Bruce Harrell, former Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck and Greenwood planner and activist Kate Martin. (Noticeably absent was businessman Charlie Staadecker.)
In a runoff with the mayor, Murray easily secured the endorsement, taking 71 percent of the vote to McGinn’s 29 percent. While you can’t read too much into any single endorsement, the win was good news for Murray as it showed his strength beyond the 43rd Legislative District he has represented for years.
Murray said he’d be a “collaborative” leader to get more done for the city on transportation, police reform and other issues — echoing a repeated theme in the race for McGinn’s challengers who accuse him of being overly combative. “I want to show the state how liberals work together to get things done,” he said.
Murray also noted his endorsements from 34th District lawmakers, including state Sen. Sharon Nelson and state Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon.
The Fitzgibbon endorsement apparently peeved McGinn, who confronted him briefly as he passed by. ”Joe you told me you were going to stay out,” McGinn said.
Fitzgibbon sounded apologetic as he leaned over McGinn and told him he had decided to endorse Murray in the primary after all. He added that he doesn’t live in the city so he can’t vote in the race.
After the meeting, McGinn said Fitzgibbon had assured him earlier he was staying neutral in the mayoral primary. “I just called him out on it right there,” McGinn said, noting “he’s not the first person who has done that to me.”
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