Nickels Reelection Watch

This Month: The Primary

By Karen Quinn July 15, 2009 Published in the August 2009 issue of Seattle Met

THE AUGUST 18 primary will determine which two mayoral candidates will compete for office this fall. Local pollster and SurveyUSA boss Jay Leve says that Greg Nickels’s chances of making it past the primary threshold are good: In a poll released by Leve’s company on June 25, Nickels led the pack with 24 percent support. “[He] received more votes than anyone else, with a very tight runoff for second place.”

For the coveted second spot: City Councilmember Jan Drago garnered 15 percent support; former NBA player James Donaldson snagged 14 percent. All other candidates remained in single digits.

But, says Drago campaign manager Lennon Bronsema, “we feel fine about where we are.” In fact, he suggests, the mayor’s 24 percent support is “pretty interesting” (read: bad news for Nickels) considering that he “is almost 100 percent known” to poll participants, whereas other candidates are still reaching out to the public.

Donaldson sees opportunity in the numbers, too. “Polls have been consistent for Mayor Nickels, but they show me climbing,” he told the Seattle PostGlobe.

With Drago and Donaldson neck and neck for second place and slinging mud in the mayor’s direction, Nickels’s campaign representative Sandeep Kaushik admits, “We do have some work to do in terms of communicating to the voters about [Nickels’s] long list of accomplishments.”

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