City Hall

Nickels: Election Was "Like Watching a Train Wreck"

By Erica C. Barnett September 21, 2011

In part 2 of his exclusive interview with Q13 Fox's C.R. Douglas, former mayor Greg Nickels---who, in part 1 of the interview, said he wouldn't rule out running for office again---likened his reelection campaign, which he lost in the primary, to "a train wreck." He also said that building the tunnel was one of his proudest accomplishments, and that he wasn't sure whether he would support the $60 car-tab fee on the November ballot.

Some highlights (watch part 2 of the interview for yourself here, and part 1 here):

On whether there will be cost overruns on the tunnel: "I have no idea, and it's not my problem right now. The state is going to manage the project. I know that they've taken a very cautious approach to their cost estimates because they don't want to have any overruns. There's a lot of contingency built into it. But you know what they say in politics: never say never."

On the proposed $60 car-tab fee, which would pay for road maintenance, transit improvements, and bike and pedestrian projects: "Sixty dollars is a lot of money for folks, especially in a tough economic time, and I haven't, honestly, looked at what it is being proposed to be spent on. Many of my friends groups like Transportation Choices Coalition, say that it's a good package. I look forward, as a voter, to learning more about it and making a decision."

On losing the election in the primary: "It was interesting. If you've ever watched a train wreck, it felt a lot like that, because you could see it coming. I'm a good politician. I'm a good vote counter. I knew how people were responding. And it really, in my book, went back to the economy collapsing in 2008. They were in a viscerally angry mood. So I would sit down and talk to people like we're sitting now. I'd talk to them about what we'd done---how we'd reduced the crime rate, how we'd taken leadership internationally on climate protection, how we'd built light rail---and they weren't hearing me."
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