1. Mayor Mike McGinn, gaining minimally in percentage and falling further behind in the raw vote count, is holding a press conference this morning.
State Sen. Ed Murray, leading McGinn 55.35 to 43.95 with a 13,000 vote lead (up from around 6,000) after yesterday's count, is holding a press conference in the afternoon to announce his transition-team co-chairs.
2. Longtime City Council member Richard Conlin, after a bruising election and shaky victory on election night against socialist sensation Kshama Sawant, announced yesterday that he will retire in two years. (The latest count had Conlin ahead at 52.8 to 46.9, though Sawant actually won the last batch of nearly 7,000 ballots itself, getting 50.2 percent to Conlin's 49.7.)
Sawant's team isn't conceding, and say as late ballots swing their way they could still score an upset, estimating they need 53 percent of the remaining likely 100,000 plus votes that still need to be counted.
King County Elections reports they have counted about 112,000 out of about 213,000 ballots that have come in—a 52 percent turnout so far.
In a press release last night, Sawant said:
"This isn't over. Mr. Conlin announced today, after an 'exhausting campaign' in which he was actually forced to defend his record, that he won't run again. We're hopeful, for the people of Seattle, that he can still be retired even two years earlier."
Conlin was clearly intimidated by the prospect of running against Sawant in the new districting system that voters approved on Tuesday night which would have put him in a race against Sawant in 2015 in a district that includes her Capitol Hill base.
Conlin was clearly intimidated by the prospect of running against Sawant in the new districting system that voters approved on Tuesday night.
3. In the 11th hour of this year's mayoral election, Mayor Mike McGinn made an issue out of Comcast contributions backing (now-incoming mayor) Ed Murray's campaign.
McGinn has been a vocal advocate for Comcast competitor Gigabit Squared, with which the city has contracted to provide high-speed broadband service to 14 neighborhoods.
It's not clear that Comcast is Gigabit's main problem, though. So far, Gigabit, a startup, has not provided broadband to a single household anywhere, although it is about to launch a network in Chicago, months behind schedule and a million dollars short of its $2 million fundraising goal.
Asked whether he planned to stand by McGinn's pledge to contract with Gigabit, Murray said yesterday, "That's a proposal that was decided by the city council and we plan to proceed with it," although he added that he would consider other providers if Gigabit doesn't work out.
"That was a phony issue that came out in the last days of the campaign, and as far as I can tell, it came out of Washington, D.C."
Gigabit—whose enigmatic and jargony website boasts that it provides "trans-sector applications and solutions that drive impactful and meaningful use"—is based in Cincinnati, with offices in D.C.; they do not currently have any staff in Seattle.
4. Once Murray becomes mayor, his state senate seat (D-43, Capitol Hill) will likely be taken over by state Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-43), who announced yesterday that he's going for it (43rd District precinct officers recommend potential appointees to the King County Council, which then makes the choice).
This, of course, raises the question: Who will replace Pedersen in the state house? Asked yesterday, Murray demurred, chuckling, "I think it’ll be very competitive. You know the 43rd district—about half the district runs every time there’s an office open. I’ve heard [Precinct Committee Officers] talk about recruiting people." (Pedersen won a six-way Democratic primary for the seat in 2006 when Murray moved to the senate.)
Two people Fizz knows of, 43rd District chair Scott Forbes and Gates Foundation program officer Brady Walkinshaw, are running for the house appointment. Forbes, in fact, sent out an email to PCOs yesterday that read in part:
The ballots are still being counted and the results won't be official until the end of the month, but Ed Murray has almost certainly won the race to be Seattle's next mayor—and that means you, in your role as a Precinct Committee Officer, will be asked to fill a vacancy in the legislature.
For the last three years I've had the honor of being Chair of the 43rd District Democrats. If Ed Murray had dropped out of the mayor's race months ago, I'd still be here handing out sample ballots and recruiting PCOs: I've been working for decades to make the Democratic Party stronger and more progressive, and together we've been getting results.
(Marijuana legalization advocate and ACLU attorney Alison Holcomb had reportedly been in the mix, but Fizz hears she's not likely to go for it.)
5. In advance of the special session in Olympia today featuring a package of Boeing tax breaks and scaled-back water quality regulations to appease the jet plane titan—call it the Special (Treatment) Session—Gov. Jay Inslee's office forwarded letters from both Boeing and the machinist union yesterday.
From Ray Connor, President and CEO of Boeing's commercial airplane division:
Pursuant to our discussions this week, Boeing is committed to placing 777X final assembly and wing fabrication in the Puget Sound region. This commitment, however, will be solidified if the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 751 contract proposal is ratified in a vote by the membership next week and favorable economic incentives are implemented by the State of Washington.
And from the machinist union:
District 751 Legislative Director Larry Brown is leading a 10-member delegation to Olympia tomorrow to personally lobby legislators to support the Governor’s package of 777X proposals, including the transportation plan.
Any suggestion that the union thinks Legislative action isn’t necessary is simply wrong.”
Speaking of special treatment, Fizz hears environmentalists will be singled out to help pay for the transportation package in a proposal to "supplant" gas tax stormwater cleanup money with dollars from the supposedly dedicated toxic cleanup fund known as MTCA, or Model Toxic Control Act, approved by voters in 1987.