1. It's not surprising that state Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Seattle) picked up the sole endorsement from his own 43rd District Democrats last night. However, it was a bit noteworthy that no other candidate made it to the second round (candidates needed 40 percent on the first vote to be considered, and people could vote for as many candidates as they wanted.)
Only Murray made the cut, getting 58.73 on the first vote (which was almost the magical 60 percent he needed to get endorsed in the first round); McGinn, who had won the 43rd District straw poll earlier in the spring (a fundraiser where supporters buy ballots) got 28.04 percent, Peter Steinbrueck got 17.46 percent, and Bruce Harrell got 13.76 percent. In the second round, Murray got 65.2 percent (vs. 34.85 for "No Endorsement") winning his district's support handily. (The 43rd represents: Capitol Hill, the University District, Wallingford, Pike Place, Downtown, Montlake, and Madison Park.)
What was genuinely surprising, though, was that in his two-minute speech before the vote, McGinn took the time to go on the offensive against Murray. McGinn directly slammed Murray for not supporting subarea equity. It's a wonky criticism (one that, appropriately enough, first came to light when our own wonky Erica C. Barnett asked Murray about subarea equity in a Cola One Question; subarea equity is the governing principle for Sound Transit that says money must stay in the "subarea" where it's raised.)
McGinn's attack was intended to highlight that he's a Seattle partisan; he wants Seattle dollars to pay for Seattle light rail, like the Ballard extension he's pushing, rather than making Seattle pay for light rail in the suburbs. Conversely, Murray says subarea equity prevents dollars from being spent where transit is needed and wants Seattle's suburban neighbors to help pay for Seattle rail.
Wonkiness aside, McGinn's attack highlighted an issue that's emerging in this year's mayor's race, particularly if we're looking at a McGinn vs. Murray final round in November: Regionalism. McGinn sees regionalism the same way liberal Democrats (and the Republican-dominated Majority Coalition Caucus in Olympia, for that matter) see bipartisanship: It's like selling out and voting with the other side. Murray, however, is trumpeting regionalism, pledging that as mayor of Seattle he'll think regionally about issues like transportation.
Murray spoke right after McGinn (would he take the bait?), and addressed McGinn's attack with a succinct one-liner: "It's time to stop the divisiveness you just heard from the mayor." (Longshot candidate, real estate broker Charlie Staadecker, spoke after Murray, adding: "We all need to be collegial.")
After the vote, Fizz asked Murray about McGinn's direct attack: "I think that's his style," Murray said. "We have a liberal who supports transit attacking a liberal who supports transit. The region looks at that and doesn't think we have our act together."
2. In other endorsements from the packed 43rd meeting at the University Heights Community Center at the north end of the U District: Popular City Council member Mike O'Brien won the endorsement on the first round, getting 66.9 percent, after hyping his plastic bag ban and his winning proposal in the South Lake Union rezone debate that he said put more affordable housing in the mix in a tradeoff to let Vulcan build taller; and City Council Member Richard Conlin was not able to hit the 60 percent mark (he's being challenged by a young Amazon employee, Brian Carver).
Both Conlin and Carver made it through to the second round—Conlin got 53.33 percent and Carver, who hyped his work on the Kindle during his speech (after a supporter introduced him by praising his "new age" solutions to transit), got 44 percent. Neither candidate got to 60 in the second round, though, and the district went with "No Endorsement."
3. Next Tuesday May 28 at 6:00 at the Jewel Box Theater in Belltown (the backroom at the Rendezvous), PubliCola is hosting a discussion—moderated by Q13 TV's C.R. Douglas—on development and density, focusing on microhousing.
On our ThinkTank panel: Seattle City Council member Tom Rasmussen, who considered proposing a moratorium aPodments; Diane Sugimura, Seattle's Department of Development Director who oversees the city's zoning and planning policies; Bill Bradburd, an outspoken North Seattle resident and activist who opposes aPodments; and Roger Valdez, microhousing proponent and density evangelist with Smart Growth Seattle.