Liberals fighting liberals. So what does it matter? This year’s race for Seattle mayor, featuring nine candidates, including some big leaguers like former city council president Peter Steinbrueck, state senate Democratic leader Ed Murray, and the controversial incumbent mayor himself, Mike McGinn, is actually loaded with nuance. 

With Seattle at a crossroads between fully embracing urbanism or trying to moderate growth, big questions about the city’s place in the region, state, and even the international stage, hang in the balance. In addition to urgent issues over police reform and quality schools, this is an election about defining themes such as the regionalism espoused by Senator Murray or the partisan allegiance to Seattle interests pushed by Mayor McGinn. We’ve interviewed the candidates about everything from their takes on South Lake Union to their favorite political movies. The primary election is coming up on August 6, and we hope the answers help you decide who should lead the way.

Mike McGinn

Ed Murray

Joey Gray

Bruce Harrell

Doug McQuaid

Kate Martin

Charlie Staadecker

Peter Steinbrueck

Mary Martin

Quiz: Who Said It?

 

{page break}

Mike McGinn

CURRENT JOB Seattle mayor

UNIVERSITY Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, Economics; University of Washington School of Law

LIVES IN Greenwood

AGE 53

BASE Developers and bicyclists who, despite McGinn’s flagging polling numbers, are clinging to him as the only real urbanist in the race. To pull it out, McGinn needs to portray his bad numbers as a mainstream plot against him and energize his base in a fight to the finish.

DEFINING ISSUE The police force is under a consent decree with the Department of Justice over alleged police misconduct, which finally overshadowed McGinn’s obsession with stopping the downtown tunnel.

CAMPAIGN TRAIL BRAG Gets things done

REALITY CHECK Ongoing tensions with the city council have made getting things done a lot harder.

SO SEATTLE Bikes to work; started Great City, a green nonprofit, after heading the local Sierra Club

Not so seattle Loves a good political brawl

hidden talent Smokin’ lefty layup, cooking for a crowd

PATH TO VICTORY Sit back and let his opponents knock each other out of the race

If Elected, Most Likely to… Blame the council for gridlock at city hall

# of Facebook likes: 2,629

 # of Twitter followers 1,936 @michaelmcginn

Website  mcginnformayor.com



Ed Murray

Current Job State senator, Democratic minority leader

age 58

high school Timberline High School, Lacey, Washington

university University of Portland, Sociology

lives in Capitol Hill

Campaign Trail Brag More collaborative than McGinn

reality check After being elected majority leader of the senate, his Democratic coalition fell apart when two conservative Democrats joined a new Republican coalition.

defining issue Passing gay marriage.

base The LGBT community. Murray has an impressive record as a state legislator that extends beyond gay rights, such as passing a major transportation package, making him the grownup candidate that voters may be longing for after years of McGinn.

If Elected, Most Likely to… Mend fences between Seattle and Olympia

hidden talent Writes poetry

so seattle Gay; has a “shoe-free home”

not so seattle Attends Mass most Sundays

PATH TO VICTORY Steal McGinn’s liberal base (and add a few respectable suits into the mix)

# of Facebook likes 1,096

# of Twitter followers  282 @edmurray4mayor

Website murray4mayor.com


{page break}

Joey Gray

Current Job IT consultant for Puget Sound nonprofits

age 46

lives in A houseboat on Portage Bay

high school North Thurston High School, Lacey, Washington

university University of Washington, German Literature and International Studies; Master’s in Library and Information Science

so seattle Lives on a houseboat

not so seattle Welcomes conflict

defining issue She has been active in various environmental movements and believes current politicians aren’t doing enough to address environmental issues.

hidden talent Ultimate Frisbee fanatic; cofounded the local DiscNW and directed national UF association USA Ultimate

If Elected, Most Likely to… Prioritize environmental stewardship and policies that encourage gender equity

Base As an advocate for gender equity, specifically gender pay equity, Gray hopes to gain interested voters who are concerned with equal opportunity. 

# of Twitter followers  5 @votejoeygray

# of Facebook likes 116

Website votejoeygray.com

  

Bruce Harrell

Current Job Seattle City Council member

age 54

high school Garfield High School, Valedictorian

university University of Washington, Political Science; UW School of Law

defining issue Race and social justice

so seattle UW inside linebacker, Rose Bowl champion over Michigan in 1978

not so seattle Wears cufflinks

Campaign Trail Brag Unlike McGinn, “I come up with creative solutions.”

reality check The highest-profile of those solutions, body cameras for cops, has gone nowhere.

hidden talent Finding bargains at estate sales

PATH TO VICTORY Paint Mayor McGinn as a white, kale-munching, Greenwood chicken owner

base An odd combination of social justice liberals, minority communities, and rich business people. As the only person of color in the race, Harrell, who’s talking a lot about social justice on the campaign trail, is a passionate, smart, and witty speaker. He could try to frame urbanist McGinn as a privileged yuppie, but Harrell’s wealth and frat boy conservative streak undermine the lefty assault. 

If Elected, Most Likely to… Revamp and expand the city’s moribund free Wi-Fi system

# of Twitter followers 126 @bruceformayor

# of Facebook likes 1,070

WEBSITE electbruceharrell.com

{page break}

Doug McQuaid

Current Job Attorney

age 68

university University of Washington, Business Administration and Finance; Willamette University College of Law

lives Somewhere in King County

defining issue A mystery; ranked “unqualified” by Justice for Washington when he ran for state supreme court last year

Campaign Trail Brag None. He doesn’t campaign and didn’t return calls. 

hidden talent ...

Base ...

PATH TO VICTORY ...

If Elected, Most Likely to … 

# of Facebook likes ...

Website ...


Kate Martin

Current Job Landscape designer, Kate Martin Design

age 55

lives in Greenwood

high school Tunkhannock Area High School, Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania

university State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Landscape Architecture

so seattle Built a skate park for her kids in her front yard

not so seattle Doesn’t support affirmative action

defining issue A conservative on fiscal issues and a liberal on social issues

hidden talent Country singer and songwriter

PATH TO VICTORY None, but she may pick up some women’s votes as the highest-profile woman in the race

Campaign Trail Brag Got more than 70,000 votes in her 2011 race for school board

reality check Lost that race by more than 8,000 votes

Base Her Greenwood neighbors

If Elected, Most Likely to… Launch her mayoral term with a white paper on the need to match infrastructure to growth

# of Twitter followers  43 @tweetsfromkate

# of Facebook Likes 222 

Website katemartinformayor.com

{page break}

Charlie Staadecker

Current Job Owner, Staadecker Real Estate

age 70

university U Penn Wharton School,  Economics

high school Franklin High School

defining issue Unlike the current mayor, he won’t be divisive.

lives in Downtown Seattle

Campaign Trail Brag For a political unknown, he’s raised a ton of money.

reality check That money all comes from his wealthy friends.

If Elected, Most Likely to… Lower parking rates

hidden talent Has a huge watch and bow tie collection

PATH TO VICTORY None, but he might get some support from voters charmed by his genteel, grandfatherly schtick

so seattle He’s unwaveringly nice.

not so seattle He wears a bow tie.

Base His wealthy friends

# of Twitter followers 41 @charlieformayor

# of Facebook likes 188

Website charlieformayor.org


Peter Steinbrueck

Current Job Founder and principal, Steinbrueck Urban Strategies

age 55

high school Lakeside School

university Bowdoin College, Government; UW, Master’s in Architecture

lives in Ravenna

defining issue Opposition to a new SoDo arena; historical preservation

Campaign Trail Brag He’s the true urbanist in the race.

reality check He supported taller buildings downtown as a council member, but opposed them recently in South Lake Union.

so seattle His name is synonymous with Pike Place Market.

not so seattle He’s actually from here.

If Elected, Most Likely to… Push for hiring more cops.

hidden talent Makes a mean pizza

Base Lesser Seattle diehards. Steinbrueck is banking on his iconic name and the top issues of the older, crankier voters his name is iconic with (i.e., preserving Seattle’s ’70s neighborhood vibe) to instigate a battle for Seattle with McGinn.

# of Twitter followers 75 @peterforseattle

# of Facebook likes 420

Website peterforseattle.com

{page break} 

Mary Martin

Current Job Factory production worker in the food industry

age 60

lives in West Seattle

high school Herschel V. Jenkins High School, Savannah

university Georgia State University, Atlanta

hidden talent The mayoral candidates should really address the worst economic crisis for the working classes since the 1930s. It’s not of our making but it’s on our backs. I think that these kind of questions really keep the whole discussion on a nonserious level, and part of it is because the candidates of the Democratic and Republican parties have no serious answers to the crisis facing working people.

Campaign Trail Brag Her “top advisors” are Karl Marx, Rosa Luxemburg, Malcolm X, and Fidel Castro.

reality check This is the twenty-first century.

defining issue Overthrowing capitalism

Base Textile workers in Bangladesh, the Populist movement of the 1890s

PATH TO VICTORY Workers rise up and realize the folly of capitalism.

so seattle She’s a Socialist.

not so seattle She really means it.

If Elected, Most Likely to… Nationalize Starbucks

# of Twitter followers  N/A

# of Facebook likes  N/A

Website themilitant.com


Quiz: Who Said It? 

A) “I want to be the mayor that turns this police department around, that more than any other issue affecting me…the problem of the police department can’t be put simply at the foot of the current mayor. We need a change of leadership.”

B)                .”

C) “The highest social justice you can do for an individual and a family is to provide jobs for the parents.”

D) “I don’t think that a lifetime of civic involvement, activism, and commitment to public life just simply vanishes because I’ve been out of office for five years.”

E) “I do not need to teach another African American boy to play basketball. What I do need is to have an African American teacher who can talk to that kid.”

F) “I’m a policy wonk, I’m a business wonk, but I’m also kind of a visionary.”

G) “What made me run, and what made me think about it, was the ability to get things done.”

H) “We present immediate demands for the relief of the working class and also a long-term program in order for workers to take power out of the hands of the capitalist class of this country.”

I) “Enacting more ways to mitigate climate change and better steward our natural and built environments has implications for virtually every public policy decision that Seattle makes.”



KEY: (A) Ed Murray, (B) Doug McQuaid, (C) Charlie Staadecker, (D) Peter Steinbrueck, (E) Bruce Harrell, (F) Kate Martin, (G) Mike McGinn, (H) Mary Martin, (I) Joey Gray


Published: July 2013

This article appeared in the July 2013 issue of Seattle Met Magazine.

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  • By Erica C. Barnett and Josh Feit
  • Published 05/30/2013
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Afternoon Jolt

Tuesday Jolt: Mayoral Money

The day's winners and losers.

  • By Afternoon Jolt
  • Published 06/04/2013
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Afternoon Jolt

Thursday Jolt: The Latest Campaign Finance Numbers

The day's winners and losers.

  • By Afternoon Jolt
  • Published 06/06/2013
Screen shot 2013 06 06 at 3.00.23 pm xs2elt

PubliCola Adds Life

PubliCola Goes to the Movies

We're hosting a political film series at the Northwest Film Forum starring the mayoral candidates.

  • By Josh Feit
  • Published 06/06/2013
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Article

Candidate Cash Flow

A guide to who's getting and spending in the Seattle mayor's race.

  • Published 06/14/2013
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Seattle Mayor's Race 2013

Last Week in the Mayor's Race

How'd the mayoral candidate do last week, and where do they stand?

  • By CampaignNerd
  • Published 06/17/2013
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Seattle Mayor's Race 2013

Mayoral Candidates Talk Education, Race, and Gentrification at Juneteenth Forum

At a Juneteenth forum, the candidates for mayor talk education, race, and gentrification.

  • By Erica C. Barnett
  • Published 06/20/2013
Screen shot 2013 06 27 at 12.35.45 pm e2fmsf

Seattle Mayor's Race

Ron Sims Endorses Ed Murray for Mayor

Murray picks up endorsement from former King County Executive Ron Sims.

  • By Josh Feit
  • Published 06/27/2013
Screen shot 2013 06 28 at 2.47.56 pm gwyjbu

Seattle Mayor's Race 2013

Handicapping the Mayoral Primary

Guest editorial: Handicapping the mayoral primary, with Ed Murray back in the mix.

  • By ElectionNerd
  • Published 06/28/2013
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ElectionNerd

ElectionNerd: On To The General Election!

ElectionNerd predicts the path forward for both Murray and McGinn.

  • By ElectionNerd
  • Published 08/08/2013
Screen shot 2013 04 17 at 2.05.17 pm xoevhr

Seattle Mayor's Race 2013

Channeling ElectionNerd: Murray is Not Mallahan. Or Sidran.

Once More, with Feeling: Why the "Murray as Mallahan" Narrative Doesn't Work

  • By Erica C. Barnett
  • Published 08/12/2013
Change udwof4

ElectionNerd

ElectionNerd: History Doesn't Bode Well for McGinn

The history of Seattle elections offers some unsettling lessons for McGinn.

  • By ElectionNerd
  • Published 08/12/2013
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One Question

One Question for Peter Steinbrueck Supporters

As we noted yesterday, the '90s are over. So who will supporters of Seattle's "neighborhood" mayoral candidate, Peter Steinbrueck, back now?

  • By Erica C. Barnett
  • Published 08/08/2013
Screen shot 2013 08 07 at 4.38.48 pm ormq93

Seattle Mayor's Race 2013

More On McGinn's Gender Problem

Mayor Mike McGinn claims we got the facts wrong on the gender breakdown of his cabinet. We didn't.

  • By Erica C. Barnett
  • Published 08/07/2013
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Seattle Mayor's Race 2013

Post-Election Jolt: Primary Winners and Losers

Post-Election Jolt: More winners and losers from last night's primary.

  • By Afternoon Jolt
  • Published 08/07/2013
Screen shot 2013 08 13 at 3.42.40 pm j7hcmt

Isn't It Weird That

Isn't It Weird That ...

Some weird things we noticed about mayoral fundraising and the Seattle Times.

  • By Erica C. Barnett
  • Published 08/13/2013
Screen shot 2013 08 09 at 1.50.28 pm dgizwq

The C Is for Crank

McGinn Staffer Attacks This Crank as "Sexist"

Mayor Mike McGinn's chief of staff calls me "sexist" for pointing out that he has fewer female department heads than his predecessor. Hmm.

  • By Erica C. Barnett
  • Published 08/09/2013
Screen shot 2013 08 08 at 1.59.35 pm kycari

Opinion

Isn't It Weird That ... Mark Sidran Edition

An endorsement that could come back to haunt Ed Murray.

  • By Josh Feit
  • Published 08/08/2013
Change c5oir3

Morning Fizz

Morning Fizz: Field vs. Field

Caffeinated News & Gossip

  • By Morning Fizz
  • Published 08/08/2013
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One Question

One Question for Mike McGinn

McGinn says he's fighting the establishment. Who are they, though? And what do they want?

  • By Josh Feit
  • Published 08/14/2013
Screen shot 2013 08 19 at 3.07.33 pm exi7yi

Ins't it Weird That

Isn't it Weird That Murray is Criticizing McGinn on Gun Control?

Murray ridicules McGinn on gun control even though Murray's Democrats failed big on gun control this year in Olympia.

  • By Josh Feit
  • Published 08/19/2013
Screen shot 2013 08 15 at 6.09.06 pm q59egf

City Hall

McGinn: $400,000 More for Cops

Mayor Mike McGinn proposes spending $400,000 more for overtime to put officers at crime "hot spots" around the city.

  • By Erica C. Barnett
  • Published 08/16/2013
Screen shot 2013 08 20 at 2.22.56 pm yeevvq

Seattle Mayor's Race 2013

Vulcan, Hedreen Behind Big Donations to Ed Murray PAC

Who's behind the pro-Ed Murray PAC? We took a look.

  • By Erica C. Barnett
  • Published 08/20/2013
Screen shot 2013 08 20 at 5.08.46 pm qyzh78

Afternoon Jolt

Tuesday Jolt: Mayor and (Bellevue) Council Edition

Tuesday's winners and losers.

  • By Afternoon Jolt
  • Published 08/20/2013
Screen shot 2013 08 27 at 1.43.51 pm g28v9v

Isn't It Weird That

Isn't It Weird That ...

Some weird things we noticed about the mayor's race and the mayor's gun violence initiative.

  • By Erica C. Barnett
  • Published 08/27/2013
Screen shot 2013 08 30 at 1.25.45 pm cbl4ht

Opinion

Precinct by Precinct. Game Starts After Labor Day.

The primary results indicate a clear path to victory for both McGinn and Murray: Chip away at the other's stronghold.

  • By ElectionNerd
  • Published 08/30/2013
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Opinion

A Very Cool Thing About McGinn, But...

How the Green mayor became the Blue mayor.

  • By Josh Feit
  • Published 09/06/2013
Screen shot 2013 09 10 at 2.52.40 pm zqnucq

Afternoon Jolt

Tuesday Jolt: The Mayor's Race Heats Up

Tuesday Jolt, featuring the mayor's race.

  • By Afternoon Jolt
  • Published 09/10/2013
Screen shot 2013 09 27 at 8.36.00 am vxs4vw

Seattle Mayor's Race

Special On Other Blogs: Transcript of Last Night's McGinn vs. Murray Blow Up

Another read on last night's debate.

  • By Josh Feit
  • Published 09/27/2013
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Extra Fizz

Extra Fizz: Election Edition

Some extra fizz about the mayor's race, districts, and I-522

  • By Erica C. Barnett
  • Published 09/26/2013
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Seattle Mayor's Race 2013

Friday Jolt: Neumos Founder Says Meinert "Does Not Speak for" Nightlife Community

Neumos and Spitfire co-owner Jerry Everard says his usual political ally, nightlife promoter and bar owner Dave Meinert, "does not speak for the music community."

  • By Erica C. Barnett
  • Published 10/04/2013
Screen shot 2013 10 03 at 3.51.51 pm hr7gsi

Seattle Mayor's Race 2013

Steinbrueck Turns Out for Murray Event

Former mayoral candidate Peter Steinbrueck makes cameo at mayoral finalist Ed Murray's event.

  • By Erica C. Barnett
  • Published 10/03/2013
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Power Lines

A Race for the Future of Seattle

Lucky us. Both Mike McGinn and Ed Murray are well qualified to be the next mayor. Now if only we could decide whom to vote for.

  • By Erica C. Barnett and Josh Feit
  • Published 11/01/2013