This is not the first blog post regarding newly announced Seattle mayoral candidate David Ishii. He's been making the rounds for over a week,>"/>
This is not the first blog post regarding newly announced Seattle mayoral candidate David Ishii. He's been making the rounds for over a week, calling the folks at the Stranger to draw attention to his platform (not to mention the farting elephants on his website), and garnering a bit of ink from the Seattle Times , being pegged by the city's paper of record as an eccentric candidate with the ability to make the 2013 mayor's race more interesting.
Leaving no stone unturned, Ishii - who is not to be mistaken for the late bookseller of the same name - called Seattle Weekly headquarters earlier this week and offered more of his creative rhetoric. "I'm quite the character," Ishii said, much like he's told everyone else willing to listen.
However, one intriguing nugget Ishii dropped caught my attention.
Dude says he's Bruce Harrell's cousin.
Later, when talking with Harrell's campaign manager - his niece, Monisha Harrell - I'd find out I wasn't the only person Ishii had made such a statement to.
Thing is, he's kind of right.
But he's mostly wrong.
Affiliating himself with the "Kape Crusader Party", and a self-described artist and poet (assertions backed up by his
totally bizarre striking website - papabigfoot.com - which promotes an illustration-heavy, poetry-based platform centered on cleaning up drugs and racketeering in Seattle), Ishii tells Seattle Weekly "I'm gonna win this thing."
But, as Ishii tells it, winning Seattle's mayoral race will require him to beat out a crowded field of more established and bankrolled contenders -- including city council member Bruce Harrell.
"It's gonna be a family feud," says Ishii of squaring off against Harrell.
Later, Ishii tells me Thanksgiving this year might be particularly interesting.
Harrell's mayoral campaign manager, Monisha Harrell, had already been forced to do her research on Ishii. She says the first time she heard about the possibility that Ishii was Harrell's cousin was when Ishii recently started talking about it, and the press started asking about it.
"It's weird," says Monisha Harrell. "He's the cousin of a cousin, on the opposite side of the family. He's not related by blood. ... We can't figure out why he keeps contacting the media and making this claim."
Monisha Harrell says the media's questions implored her to "check it out," and her strange investigation revealed Ishii's distant, non-blood relation to her uncle. At this point, Melanie says the Harrell camp is just trying to "handle it as tastefully as possible" out of respect for Ishii's actual family.
"We've got a big family organization ... we're totally open to it," says the respectfully confused sounding campaign manager.
"It's just weird."
Putting his disputed family ties aside for a moment, as for his campaign plans, Ishii says he's trying to round up the 1,800 signatures he'll need to make the ballot. He says he's a simple man, like many of us, who can't afford the other option - a $1,800 filing fee that would be required by May. To illustrate his point, during our phone chat Ishii mentions he's just returned from the food bank. Last week Ishii told the Times he lives in subsidized housing in West Seattle and receives federal disability payments.
But for what it's worth, and for better or worse - Ishii isn't lacking confidence.
And he's got a strategy.
"I'm going to take it slow," says Ishii. "I don't want to peak too early."