This isn’t the final word by any means we’ll have on the race between Councilman Mike O’Brien and Albert Shen, but I felt compelled to note some interesting takes from my interview with O’Brien yesterday.
Specifically, I queried him on what role ally Mayor Mike McGinn had in his campaign. As a freshman councilman who admittedly doesn’t have high name recognition running against a viable opponent (by no means a given this year), it would seem like a sitting mayor would be an asset for O’Brien.
Yet in O’Brien’s list of endorsements, published on his web site, McGinn’s name doesn’t appear.
“That’s probably an oversight,” O’Brien told me when I asked about McGinn’s name not appearing on the list. He went on to say: “I don’t think I’ve ever actually asked Mike McGinn for his endorsement.”
“I think everyone knows he supports me.”
McGinn isn’t being so understated about the reverse. McGinn counts O’Brien on his list of endorsements, which represents the only city council member endorsement he has (again, this won’t be our last word on that).
Oversights aside, the obvious take away is that McGinn has become a bit of a radioactive element in this election.
Indeed, O’Brien seemed a little annoyed by the narrative that he’s McGinn’s man on the council. True, they both ran the local chapter of the Sierra Club at one point in time, and both are fans of biking. And then there’s the name.
But O’Brien says, basically, so what?
“I think there are kind of interesting but not particularly valuable characteristics we share. Out paths are intertwined. We’re both named Mike.
“It’s easy to write the story about how similar we are. But the way we are similar, we are similar to most members of the council,” he said.
“As a city council member, most people in Seattle don’t know me, but I feel like I’ve done really good work.”
Again, we’ll be going into that work in later posts, but today we went with the easy story.