Here’s an interesting fact: To date, Mayor Ed Murray, embattled by accusations that he sexually abused three troubled teens in the 1980s, is facing as many challengers for re-election as a scandal-free Mike McGinn did in 2013: 10. That figure includes your typical mix of cranks (Alex Tsimerman, David Ishii), protest candidates (Mary Martin), and established names (against McGinn, this included Murray, Bruce Harrell, Tim Burgess and Peter Steinbrueck; against Murray it includes McGinn, Nikkita Oliver, and Cary Moon).
You can read this equivalency as a statement of just how vulnerable McGinn made himself during his confrontational four years in office. But you can also read it as a statement of how, so far, the allegations against Murray haven’t wounded him as badly as it once seemed they would. Murray’s election campaign early this week released a list of new labor endorsements picked up by the mayor, as well as an endorsement from the Suquamish Tribe. And while the scandal was expected to unleash a flood of new candidates into the race, to date, only McGinn and Moon have thrown their hats in the ring (Oliver had announced her candidacy prior to the accusations).
With the May 19 filing deadline fast approaching, will anyone else enter the field? Poking around on this question today, I was referred to this website: Recruit Bill Bryant for Seattle Mayor.
Bill Bryant!? Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant? Lost by 35 points in King County Bill Bryant?
So goes the argument of why he’s the man for the job:
“Seattle is in disarray. Local elected officials are unwilling to address the homeless crisis, unable to keep our cost of living from skyrocketing, and refuse to work with businesses to create good, middle class jobs. Scandals and partisan politics have crippled our city. Enough is enough.
“As a former Port Commissioner of Seattle, Bill Bryant has a proven record of protecting our environment, helping the homeless get back on their feet, and creating local jobs here in Seattle.”
Bryant himself says he has nothing to do with the recruitment effort, telling KIRO Radio’s Jason Rantz:
“I get asked to run between a few and many times a day, every day. … It’s flattering, but I couldn’t get elected since I’d just want to focus on basics—like getting control of taxes, making sure traffic moves, streets are smooth, parks are maintained, people and property are safe, get serious about homelessness—rather than on a bunch of ideological crap, but too many in Seattle seem enthralled by the ideological over the boring basics.”
Rantz says that makes it sound like Bryant isn’t running. I think it makes it sound like he is thinking of running, as a reluctant civil servant pressed into service. One thing I do think Bryant is right about: He couldn’t get elected.