probably the last time i will blog about seattle politics

There's a mayoral election coming up, which I will no longer be around to vote in. So, I won't belabor the point here. I suspect incumbent Mike McGinn may benefit from the fact that so many people are running against him in the primary (we have a non-partisan, top two candidates go to the general primary system in WA). And at the moment, it would appear that it will be down to McGinn and either Ed Murray (who has zero experience with city issues, and whose effectiveness in Olympia is frankly questionable) or Peter Steinbrueck, who is much more conversant in the issues of the city, but on the wrong side of too many of them (especially density and transit).

I think McGinn has dropped the ball on handling SPD, and that is not trivial. However, as far as the local economy goes, Seattle is doing really, really well. And even though McGinn can hardly take credit for all of that, it matters.

Apart from the police issue, the main complaint I hear about McGinn is that he just isn't nice enough. (File this as an "only in the Pacific Northwest" thing.) Given that the state government in Olympia is frequently and actively hostile to the city's interest, I consider that a feature, not a bug.

Steinbrueck is in denial about where the city is and where it is going. (The best description I've heard, and I apologize for not remembering from whom I've heard it, is "approaching San Francisco-like density with a Phoenix-like transportation system".) Murray, as far as I can tell, just really, really wants to be our First Gay Mayor, in an era where being "X's first Y Z" is becoming increasingly less noteworthy by the moment. (And that is a good thing.)

In other words, I don't see any reason to expect Murray to be particularly competent, and I worry that Steinbreuck would competently implement policies that are not in the city's best interest. McGinn may not be perfect, but I really think it would be foolish not to give him another term, given the options.

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