Today's loser: Mayoral candidate Tim Burgess.
The King County Democrats' endorsements committee issued their preliminary recommendations in local elections for the August 6 primary today and, in a surprise move, decided not to take a position on the mayor's race. (Last time, in 2009, Joe Mallahan got a majority of the full King County Democrats' votes but failed to win the two-thirds needed for an endorsement).
"Of all of the candidates running, these four not only represent the values of the Democratic Party, but also have a grasp of the issues facing Seattle – from police accountability to maintaining a working port, transit to housing, potholes to sidewalks."
More surprising? The list of Democratic Party candidates the committee deemed "qualified" and "viable" explicitly excluded city council member Tim Burgess—widely considered one of the five major candidates in the race. (Greenwood neighborhood activist Kate Martin and real-estate developer Charlie Staadecker were also excluded—hardly surprising, since both are long-shot candidates.)
According to the endorsement committee's letter announcing their decision:
The committee engaged in a great discussion regarding how best to handle so many good Democrats, and it is the committee’s recommendation that the King County Democrats take no position until after the primary election.
The committee did want to express that it felt the following candidates not only shared in our values, but are also qualified and have the viability necessary to lead the City of Seattle (listed alphabetically):
The memo goes on to cite regionalism—an issue that's emerging as a key part of state Sen. Ed Murray's campaign for mayor, as we noted in Fizz this morning—as one the main reasons it chose these particular four candidates.
With the significant issues affecting Seattle, and the need for Seattle to be a regional player, not posturing as its own region, the committee felt it important to make this distinction. Of all of the candidates running, these four not only represent the values of the Democratic Party, but also have a grasp of the issues facing Seattle – from police accountability to maintaining a working port, transit to housing, potholes to sidewalks. These four also exhibited the competence to enact their priorities, hire staff, and maintain a working relationship with key players across the state for the benefit of all of King County.
The committee will revisit the mayor's race, and decide whether to recommend a formal endorsement for the November general election, after the primary.
We have a call out to Burgess for his reaction to the seeming snub.
And another Jolt? Surprisingly, McGinn—who has been criticized for his Seattle parochialism, particularly when it comes to light rail—made the Dems' list.