Urban Fold

Seattle's Green Mayor Ousted In Primary

Stunning many even outside Seattle, the two-term incumbent mayor came in third in a 'top two' primary despite outspending his six competitors. Voters will choose between two political newcomers, including an activist who goes by "Mike Bikes".

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, known as the 'father' of the Cool Cities movement for penning the the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement in Nov. 2007, will not see a third term. Apparently, his efforts to fight global warming were not enough to compensate for some local stumbles.

"After the latest results were released Thursday (August 20) afternoon, businessman Joe Mallahan led with 27.22 percent of the vote, environmentalist Mike McGinn was is in second place, with 26.69 percent. Nickels was third, at 25.56 percent. The top two finishers advance to the general election."

From NYT:
"Perhaps the most surprising of the top two early leaders was Mike McGinn, a neighborhood activist and local Sierra Club leader who built his low-cost campaign around opposition to one of the mayor's signature accomplishments, an agreement finalized in January to replace the earthquake-damaged freeway. The $4.2 billion plan, approved by the state, would open downtown to Elliott Bay and views of the Olympic Mountains by demolishing the 56-year-old highway, called the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and building a two-deck tunnel.

Mr. McGinn, who favors replacing the viaduct with a less expensive surface-level boulevard and expanded transit services, has won support from both fiscal conservatives and environmentalists."

Thanks to Tim Gould

Full Story: Nickels bows out; spotlight shifts to Mallahan, McGinn



As much as I support light

As much as I support light rail and streetcar systems, achievements that mayor Nickels touts as proof of his effectiveness, all through the planning process and still today, I consider Seattle's new systems so poorly designed, they are our worst-case examples.

Nevermind the orchestrated fanfare, inititial ridership is lower than expected and it's doubtful the final segment to Seatac Airfield to be completed this December nor the 3-mile twin-tunnels to University of Washington and as far as Northgate will improve that bottom line by much.

Further extension south from Seatac to Federal Way, a spur through Tukwila's Southcenter possibly to Renton, and a line east through Bellevue are more effective expansions than the budget-consuming tunnel north. Let's not debate this at all. Mayor Nickels was a Decider (sic).

Sierra Club leader McGinn prevails in Seattle Mayoral primary

Reversing the results of the top two candidates from the Thursday count cited in the article, Mike McGinn has prevailed in the primary election for Seattle mayor. The updated election results from Monday, August 24 are as follows:

City of Seattle Mayor
Mike McGinn 37,776 27.63%
Joe Mallahan 36,840 26.95%
Greg Nickels 34,733 25.41%

McGinn is not a single-issue candidate, but he was very effective at distinguishing himself from the field of candidates by emphasizing his opposition to the financially risky deep bore tunnel. This tunnel plan is not one of the two final designs selected by a stakeholder group after a year plus of consultation and evaluation with the state, county, and city departments of transportation. The surface + transit + I-5 improvements proposal supported by McGinn is one of the recommended configurations by the diverse stakeholder group. All three transportation agencies indicated it could be implemented successfully with appropriate advance work and sequencing.

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