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Posts tagged as “Joe Mallahan”

Chunnel

From early on, the Alaskan Way viaduct - or rather, whatever will replace it - has seemed to be at the core of the Seattle mayoral race. Now there doesn't seem much doubt.

Headlines last week seemed to raise the image of incumbent and outgoing Mayor Greg Nickels poised to push the tunnel project - backed by one mayoral runoff candidate, Joe Mallahan, and opposed by the other, Mike McGinn - as far as he could, maybe to a point of no return, before he leaves office. Nickels has held off on some other things in favor of his successor, but this . . . this would be a big one.

And McGinn is pouncing. He points out that the city's share of the tunnel cost is $930 million, and he's very pointedly asking Mallahan where the money will come from.

In this, there's some positioning. Both McGinn and Mallahan are Democrats with ties to various parts of the city's Democratic infrastructure. So check out McGinn's current front page on his web site: The lead item is about the "Battle for Seattle," a fundraiser, and goes on: "The Battle for Seattle (and King County). A joint benefit for Mike McGinn, Dow Constantine, and Pete Holmes. With music from The Presidents of the United States of America featuring Krist Novoselic." Constantine, recall, is running for (the nonpartisan office of) King County executive; he is a Democrat, and his opponent is widely perceived (or often described at any rate) as a relatively conservative Republican.

Getting the picture of how the framework is intended to be set up?

Mallahan v. McGinn

Joe Mallahan

Joe Mallahan

Mike McGinn

Mike McGinn

Too many M's - Mike McGinn, and Joe Mallahan . . .

But one of them, one of two guys hardly known by the community only a couple of months ago, will be Seattle's next mayor. Incumbent Greg Nickels, who was widely expected at least to survive this week's primary election, conceded today. His timing was just about right: His votes have been close enough to the other two that he realistically might have edged into second place, until last evening's results which made that more problematic. And today's have erased most doubt.

One of the basics from politics 101: If an incumbent is on the ballot, the election is almost always more about the incumbent than about the challenger(s). And the results in this one could hardly have been any more definitive, with about three-fourths of Seattle voters deciding to throw Nickels out. Even had he slid through this week, he almost surely would have lost in November. For him, the effect is to cut short the pain. (And his timely concession cut it a little further.)

The two who continue on, though, will present some fine fuel for analysis. Since neither is an incumbent, and since they have won nearly identical numbers of votes - and neither can be considered a clear front-runner - the shape and substance of the general election is up for grabs in many ways.

It does have some context. Some suggestions for how to start to look at it . . . (more…)