Nickels Down Again, But Even if He Loses, the Battle of the Tunnel Still Continues

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With today's election count, incumbent Greg Nickels continued to sink against his top challengers. Of the 107,167 votes counted so far, Nickels has received 26,416 (25.56 percent). Joe Mallahan expanded his lead to 28,126 (27.22 percent). And Mike McGinn is still in second at 27,586 votes (26.69 percent). With an expected 26,000 votes still to be counted, Nickels is falling outside the realm of an automatic recount.

Until now, McGinn has pretty much made his campaign about the tunnel. He talked about it at every campaign appearance, and a push poll in the days before the election emphasized Nickels' support for the tunnel and reasserted McGinn's belief that Seattle will be responsible for cost overruns, something Nickels disputes.

McGinn's tunnel attacks pretty specifically targeted the Mayor in the primary, but Mallahan supports the plan for an underground tunnel too. So even if Nickels is knocked out, that fight lives on. As to the controversy over cost overruns, Mallahan says it won't be an issue thanks to his history of business management. He had this to say in response to a questionnaire from Friends of Seattle: "I have years of experience managing projects and working with contractors to bring projects in on time and on budget. Through rigorous oversight and constant communication, I do not anticipate cost overruns to be charged to the people or businesses in Seattle."

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