Once upon a time, an avowed Republican could run for a citywide seat in Seattle and stand a chance at a respectable showing. That time has passed, but that doesn't mean our fair city still doesn't contain a few strident righties -- or politically active ones at that. The 46th Legislative District's Republicans put this figure at about 20 percent, and are urging this small but proud band of misfits to throw their electoral weight behind a slate of candidates who may or may not identify themselves with the party of Lincoln.
So who does Seattle's conservative bloc fancy? For county exec, of course, it's Susan Hutchison, who might actually be a Republican herself, or so we're told. They also like Sally Bagshaw, Robert Rosencrantz, and Jessie Israel for city council, and James Donaldson for mayor, because, per their letter of support, "he's our best chance at not ending up with Greg Nickels or Jan Drago." The R's also give Donaldson points for actively courting votes on their end of the spectrum, whereas his opponents tend to treat them like kryptonite.Fair enough, although Donaldson's campaign has taken its lumps of late (sloppy reference to Sacramento in his 135-point plan for the city, trolling for votes in White Center, which isn't in the city, Shawn Kemp failing to show for a much-ballyhooed fund-raiser, etc.). Whereas he recently found himself in a dead heat for second in the race to unseat Hizzoner, recent polls have shown Mallahan and McGinn pulling away, leaving the 7'2" former Sonic to presumably duke it out with Jan Drago for fourth (not that this duke-out is insignificant; Donaldson's consulting team deserted him for Drago the moment she declared, if not sooner).
Donaldson doesn't have the cash on hand to match his rivals' air games, which has his camp putting a good amount of faith in direct mail and turning out three oft-overlooked constituencies: (1) Republicans, (2) members of Save Our Sonics, which endorsed Donaldson last week and has 15,000 members, according to Donaldson campaign manager Cindi Laws, and (3) "20,000 WSU alums" who live in the area, according to Laws (Donaldson graduated from Wazzu). Will this be enough for Donaldson to make the finals? We'll soon find out.