The King County Labor Council failed to endorse any candidate for Seattle mayor after a contentious two-hour meeting tonight. The Council’s Executive Board earlier in the day had recommended a dual endorsement of Mayor Mike McGinn and state Sen. Ed Murray, but the motion failed to win the needed two-thirds support from the assembled delegates.
Delegates did approve a dual endorsement of Councilman Mike O’Brien and challenger Albert Shen.
The Executive Board could recommend a sole endorsement for mayor at the next Labor Council meeting Sept. 19, said David Freiboth, executive secretary. No incumbent mayor since Paul Schell in 2001 has failed to pick up the Labor Council endorsement.
Not choosing one candidate effectively neutralizes the resources of the Labor Council. Individual unions are still free to mobilize their members in behalf of Murray or McGinn.
Both candidates have picked up endorsements from local affiliates, leaving no clear front-runner for labor in the race. McGinn has the support of the activist unions Unite Here Local 8, which represents hotel and restaurant workers, and the machinists union, while Murray has several maritime and construction unions.
The Labor Council stayed out of the crowded primary because affiliates were divided among the top four candidates, McGinn, Murray, former Councilman Peter Steinbrueck and Councilman Bruce Harrell.