34th District Democrats chair Tim Nuse thinks any of the three Ds running to replace Sharon Nelson in the state House of Representatives will vote pretty much the same way (sorry Geoffrey "Mac" McElroy (Independent), Nuse doesn't give you good odds, but we still say you'll have the best Primary 2010 party this evening.) The more important quality in whoever wins that position is the ability to overcome anti-Seattle sentiment in Olympia and convince the rest of the legislature to make sure West Seattle isn't essentially blockaded from the mainland when the viaduct comes down, Nuse says.
"When it comes to transit and transportation I don't think you can find another district that's more heavily impacted by major transportation projects like the Alaska Way Viaduct," he adds.
But according to Nuse, the state doesn't have nearly enough in the way of plans to mitigate the traffic problems going over the West Seattle bridge that will inevitably arise from the construction. The bridge is already backed up twice a day, he points out. "There's just not enough planning going into [West Seattle]."
So who might be able to convince the legislature to put up the cash for additional buses or ferries or (fingers crossed) rail service to West Seattle?
Marcee Stone: Since appearing in television commercials in her younger days, Stone has been working as a paralegal. But she's also long had a political streak, currently serving as the board president of Washington Public Campaigns, an advocacy group pushing for publicly-funded elections. She doesn't have experience working in the nuts and bolts of the political machine. But that first job, acting, that could be her biggest asset in Olympia. "We need a stellar communicator," Nuse says.
Joe Fitzgibbon: At the tender age of 23, Fitzgibbon impressively has more experience at the state legislature than anyone else in the race. Since 2007 he's been the legislative aide to the outgoing Sharon Nelson. Having a handle on how things work behind the scenes in Olympia is to his advantage. Then again, that might not be a good thing, since presumably he's in his third year of being part of the reviled Seattle delegation.
Michael Heavey: Heavey's father, also named Michael Heavey, was a long-time legislator and current King County Superior Court judge. Thanks to his family connections and a stint working in Jan Drago's office at the King County Council, the junior Heavey may have an easier time negotiating the hallways of Olympia (where business really gets done.) But then again, like Fitzgibbon, he could face suspicion for his Emerald City connections.
Geoffrey "Mac" McElroy: Running as an independent, McElroy is a long-shot in a district known for sending liberal Democrats like Dow Constantine and Sharon Nelson to Olympia. Ironically he might be better at talking to legislators from Spokane than anyone else, being already outside the Seattle mindset (and a bartender).