Former Gov. Chris Gregoire endorsed state Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill) in his run for Seattle mayor today.
In statement released by Murray's campaign, Gregoire said:
Throughout his career, Ed Murray has successfully taken on the tough issues, and he's succeeded by building coalitions no one believed were possible. I've seen him do it on transportation, on budgets, and of course on civil rights and marriage equality. I believe Seattle would benefit from that kind of collaborative leadership, and I am happy to offer Ed my enthusiastic support.
During the rancorous tunnel debate, incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn famously said Gregoire could not be trusted. McGinn fans appreciated his Seattle partisanship (and probably still do), but the statement sank McGinn's political capital in Olympia. (Ever wonder why he had trouble convincing the state to allow bars to stay open 24 hours?)
It's not clear how much clout a Gregoire endorsement actually has in Seattle, though. Consider: Gregoire endorsed Joe Mallahan in '09 (McGinn beat him) and state rep candidate Noel Frame last year (Frame lost to Port Commissioner Gael Tarleton.)
However, the endorsement plays into Murray's regionalism theme—along with his "I'm the grownup in the race" vibe.
Meanwhile, capitalizing on Tim Burgess' surprise exit from the race, Murray also picked up former Burgess supporter and former popular Seattle Mayor Charley Royer.
More Burgess supporters to come?
Meanwhile, Murray's own 43rd District is holding its endorsement meeting tonight. Fizz hears Murray and McGinn have been organizing the hardest behind the scenes to (in Murray's case) hold court and (in McGinn's case) stage an upset and stem any Murray momentum.