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The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

November 5, 2012 at 8:58 AM

Retired fisherman not caught up in party lines

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Sketched Oct. 30, 2012
If you’ve seen Brian Mullen driving his little Ford Festiva around Seattle lately, you know who has his vote. The retired Seattle fisherman picks candidates, not parties, to support, and encourages others to “mix your colors; vote bipartisan.”
It runs in the familiy, Mullen said. Of his six children, three are Democrat and three are Republican. His wife of 41 years, Irene, also shares his bipartisan message.
Given the importance of this year’s presidential and gubernatorial races, Mullen decided to take his involvement in the campaigns –he’s volunteered for both parties– “up a notch” by turning his car into a political billboard on wheels. His skills working on boats came in handy to build a four-sided sign that he installed on the roof of the car. Blue panels advertise presidential candidate Barack Obama and red panels advertise gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna. Inside the car, he has framed photos of both candidates, and he gives out bipartisan stickers to everyone he encounters. He was heading to West Seattle and Burien the day I meet him at his house in Columbia City.
“[Obama and McKenna] are both quality individuals,” Mullen told me over coffee in his living room before I went out to sketch the car. They are proof that the American two-party system is in good shape, he said. If they win, “we are in good hands.”
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