At the McGinn Victory Press Conference: "We Did It."

By Erica C. Barnett November 9, 2009

-3We're waiting for Mike McGinn—now well outside the margin for any conceivable recount—to come out and make his victory statement. What we're waiting for, reportedly: Joe Mallahan is expected to call McGinn at any moment to concede.

Meanwhile, McGinn volunteers are still calling voters whose signatures were rejected because they failed to match signatures on file at King County Elections and offering to come by their houses, photocopy their drivers' licenses, and verify that their signatures are valid. It's an echo of the campaign's impressive election-night strategy, in which volunteers called registered voters who had not yet voted and offered to carry their ballots to the mailboxes that were still collecting ballots.

Mallahan, on the television, says: "The support for my campaign was truly overwhelming to me." He's reading from a sheaf of papers. He continues, "I'm deeply humbled by the realization of how many people around the city work every day to support one another."

PubliCola's Jake Blumgart is at Mallahan HQ. He reports that Mallahan's staff pushed reporters into a tiny room where Mallahan and his spokeswoman Charla Neuman were the only campaign officials present. In a flat voice, Blumgart reports, Mallahan declined to say whether he would run again. Asked by Blumgart whether his lack of accessibility throughout the campaign had anything to do with his loss, he repeated that voters had responded more strongly to McGinn's message than to his. Finally, he said he had gotten an unfair reputation as a "conservative businessman" and that he was a "social justice Democrat."

"The voters of Seattle responded to Mike McGinn's message and I congratulate Mike for that." People here can't hear the TV over the newscasters in the back of the room, so UFCW community affairs director Steve Williamson is paraphrasing, and now everyone is giving Mallahan a round of applause.

McGinn, who just arrived, announces that Mallahan called him and conceded a few moments ago. Chants of "We like Mike!" keep drowning out McGinn's victory speech.

"We went out and we spoke to people. We went out and we listened to people. We talked about the future of the city we wanted, but we also went out and we listened to people about their concerns...

"I want to thank every person in this room... I want to thank the voters who voted for me and I want to ask you together let us show that hard work, let us show that passion, let us show that belief in community, and let us, together, build that city we believe in."

I asked McGinn: "Who is going to be on your transition team?" He responded, laughing: "In due course."

Asked how he plans to work with a council who disagrees with him on policy issues, McGinn responded, "I don't view that as an issue. We'll figure out how to work with them."

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Asked about the council's decision to abolish the mayor's policy shop, the Office of Policy and Management, and how he would work to reestablish mayoral power vis a vis the council, McGinn responded, "Those are insider issues" on a day devoted to celebrating his political victory. "We know we have to reduce the cost of government. If some of that comes from the mayor's office that's the way it has to be."
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