Ed Plute needs to get his money back. Whoever snapped this glamor shot took him to the cleaners.With neither mayoral candidate doing much to distinguish themselves in the eyes off the public — a fact backed up by the overwhelming number of undecideds still mulling their options a month before election day — it’s time to take a look in the discount rack. Enter Ed Plute. Plute is a 51-year-old marine electrician who’s lived on and off in Seattle for nearly 25 years. He’s an ex-con with a whooping cough who thinks building a tunnel under the city will end in a Towering Inferno-like disaster and swears he’d do a better job than either Joe Mallahan or Mike McGinn.”I’m a man of great common sense,” says Plute. “I want to give my city back to the people. These guys who are running are out of touch. I’ve been homeless before, I know what that’s about. Both these guys haven’t had to work hard. One’s your basic politician, the other guy’s an attorney. These are guys who’ve got a lot of money, they’ve lived a good life. If you ask anyone in the city they’ll tell you, they feel out of touch.”Plute is running a write-in campaign on the strength of what he characterizes as his own ultra-responsiveness to neighborhood issues. Take the abandoned camper in his Greenwood neighborhood, for example. Plute says it took “at least” eight city workers and fourteen pieces of equipment to have it hauled away.”That probably cost the city $15,000,” he says. “It’s government waste. Inefficiency. And it’s been going on like that for a long time in this town.”In its stead, his own regime would have a handful of citizen activists, says Plute. Volunteers ready, willing and able to fire off iPhone photos of city workers sleeping on the job. If that sounds like promoting the work of a whole handful of meddlers-with-good-intentions, then it’s also a good way to describe Plute.”He’s the most observant man I’ve met in my life,” says Donna Maury, owner of the Buckaroo Tavern and unofficial press liaison for the Plute campaign. “He can sit outside for 30 minutes and tell you everything that’s going on in the street.”Maury met Plute three years ago when he started coming to Buckaroo. He didn’t drink much. Just a can of PBR now and again. But he did like to talk. And since then, Maury says she’s been dazzled by Plute’s ability to problem-solve. “He sees the problem, assimilates it, verbalizes it and tells you what the solution is,” she says. Like the time he fixed her breaker box free of charge, his idea to solve the city’s snow problems by outfitting garbage trucks with plows or his plan to build a new viaduct in under 60 days.”The two fence sitters we’ve got will not get us any progress,” says Maury. “Ed will shake the bees out of the trees, that’s for sure.”Beyond a couple dozen bumper stickers, Plute’s campaigning seems to be isolated to conversations and monologues in bars like Buckaroo’s.”Basically what I do is, I just how up at places and start talking,” says Plute. “And people listen by god.”Asked to handicap his chances for a November win, Plute says he knows for a fact that he’s got “a good three or four thousand voters” in his neighborhood alone. And more on the way.”What I do know is I let these people go on MySpace and do the legwork for me,” he says. “And I’ve got the e-mails to prove it.”Unfortunately, according to the King County Board of Elections, unless there’s a recall we’ll never know how many write-in votes Plute received. And The Daily Weekly doesn’t technically endorse candidates for election. But given that he favors bars stools over podiums, thinks the tunnel is a disaster in the making and looks like the creepy Uncle we never had, we do have to say: Ed Plute comes closer to representing our ideals than any other candidate thus far. Do with that information what you must.