Susan Hutchison's campaign spokesperson Jordan McCarren sent out a press release last night titled: "Susan Unveils Bi-Partisan Plan to Reform King County." The unveiling, was scheduled for 11 a.m. this morning at the Westin.
But Hutchison revealed no plan. Instead, Lt. Governor Brad Owen and former Seattle Mayor Wes Uhlman walked into the room with Hutchison. "I promised to run a fiercely non-partisan campaign," Hutchison declared, before introducing her newest two endorsers, both Democrats. This, she explained during questioning, is the plan--to bring people together."I see her as a moderate candidate," Owen explained. "In fact, the moderate candidate."
"If you really are happy with what's going on with King County right now, you should vote for the other person [Dow Constantine]," Uhlman said. "It's time for someone who really understands that it's time for change." It's not the first time Uhlman has crossed party lines, previously supporting Dino Rossi.
In what has become a theme of Hutchison's campaign, Uhlman argued that the race needs to be treated as a nonpartisan contest. We don't have Republican jails or Democratic sewage, he pointed out. And it's true, the problems facing King County--including those looming budget deficits threatening everything from public health and the bus system to the Sheriff's department--impact everyone regardless of party affiliation. But endorsements are hardly a plan for dealing with sewage or jails either. Reporters, possibly feeling a touch duped after a press release suggesting some kind of specifics on how Hutchison plans to address any of those problems, badgered her for more than bipartisanship.
Hutchison insisted that simply bringing diverse groups of people to the table to solve problems is her start, another consistent campaign theme. She claims that politics has gotten in the way of other County issues, including light rail, which she says should have gone to the Eastside rather than North South. She argued it isn't helping the congestion problem as is, since it's faster to take a cab to the airport than the new train.
Reporters kept pushing: why do Uhlman and Owen think Hutchison is capable of handling any of this? "I just have a lot of confidence that she's a fast learner," Uhlman said, adding a shot at Constantine. "That person has had his opportunity."
Hutchison says she will announce actual specifics around the time King County Executive Kurt Triplett sends his proposed budget cuts to the King County Council--set to happen in two weeks. Constantine scheduled a response press conference for 3 p.m.