KUOW's Weekday host Steve Scher had quite the scoop this morning, when former King County executive Ron Sims told him, in a voice tailor made for the soft-focus NPR microphone:
No. It would be an honor to be mayor, but somebody else is going to have to be mayor. Because I am not going to run for mayor.
Listen to the interview here where Sims hints that his (and his wife's) next chapter is about doing humanitarian work together ... "digging a well somewhere..."
The pack of mayoral hopefuls (and the incumbent mayor himself) are breathing a giant sigh of relief today.
The biggest winner may be City Council member Bruce Harrell, the only African American in the race. Harrell is half black, half Japanese-American and in a recent KING 5 Poll (that included Sims), Harrell and Sims divvied up the African American vote, 22 percent for Harrell and 19 percent for Sims. No one else came close, with state Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill) getting 10 percent of the black vote and City Council member Tim Burgess getting nine percent. McGinn, who has hyped his support among East African immigrants, got zero.
The biggest portion of black voters went to "undecided" at 34 percent.
Harrell isn't the only winner, though. Burgess, Murray, and Sims-era big namer Peter Steinbrueck all benefit from having a heavyweight like the former King County Executive out of the running.
Heck, even neighborhood activist Kate Martin benefits. When KING 5 asked the 96 Sims voters who'd they go for if Sims wasn't on the ballot, 38 percent of the black voters in that pool went for her, the highest of all the candidates. (Oddly, McGinn, who got zero percent of the black vote in the larger poll, got 27 percent of the black voters among Sims fans, the second highest showing.)
McGinn (and Murray) also stand to benefit among another demographic with Sims out: Sims had the highest support among Democrats—at 19 percent. Murray was next with 13 and McGinn had 12. Seattle Democrats are a motivated, organized batch of voters and, I'd argue, helped deliver the race for machine Democrat Greg Nickels in his tight race with Mark Sidran back in 2001.