What Anti-Nickels Sentiment?

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A fundraising crowd to die for listens to Charles Royer wax eloquent about Greg Nickels.
People might be willing to put off pontoon maintenance on their bridges with Mayor Greg Nickels, but they aren't about to burn them. The incumbent's $75-a-plate breakfast fundraiser at the Westin Monday was a reminder of just how powerful he really is.

King County Executive candidates Larry Phillips and Dow Constantine both took their seats as former mayor Charles Royer prepared to introduce Nickels. Jan Drago, running to unseat Nickels, attended a fundraiser for Phillips last week as an official endorser. (At one point during the evening, she unabashedly let loose with a "woo!") But Phillips didn't show the same enthusiasm for Drago's campaign. He remained non-committal, saying, "I'm not endorsing in [the mayoral] race; they're both longtime friends."

King County Executive candidates Larry Phillips and Dow Constantine both took their seats as former mayor Charles Royer prepared to introduce Nickels. Jan Drago, running to unseat Nickels, attended a fundraiser for Phillips last week where she unabashedly let loose with a "woo!" But Phillips remained non-committal saying, "I'm not endorsing in [the mayoral] race; they're both long-time friends."

Martin Kaplan was one of the city council hopefuls to put in an appearance. He sat at a table with the sitting city council president, Richard Conlin. But perhaps the most surprising attendee, to me anyway, was the woman sitting to Conlin's left: Sally Bagshaw. Bagshaw says she's known the mayor for a long time. But she's also Drago's hand-picked successor to the City Council. "Let's just quietly say that I was invited and I went," Bagshaw says.

Nickels' spokesperson Sandeep Kaushik estimates that 450 people showed up, and given that the 53 tables in the Westin Grand Ballroom were mostly filled, that seems a fair assumption. That puts Nickels' draw from the morning at about $34,000 on admission alone.

It's quite possible many of those in attendance won't vote for Nickels, but if someone like Bagshaw is hesitant to actively campaign against him, Drago and any other Nickels' challengers are facing an uphill battle with an impressively steep grade.

 
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