SEATTLE — One day after the primary election, the top two vote-getters in the heated Seattle mayor’s race were giving indications Wednesday about the kind of fight they are going to wage this fall.
State Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, who came out on top in the nonpartisan primary election with 30% of the vote, made it clear that he’s going to go after Mayor Mike McGinn hard, a leader he calls “divisive.”
“Can you govern? Can you lead? Can you build those coalitions?,” Murray asked. “I’ve proven I can do that in Olympia, and the mayor has proven he can’t do that in Seattle,” Murray said.
Murray used as an example McGinn’s record on transportation.
“We passed in a Legislature a transportation package that the Seattle voters voted for by 75 percent. The mayor put a transportation package on the ballot and the voters voted against it,” Murray said.
McGinn shot back Wednesday and made clear that he’s going to put Murray’s time in Olympia on trial.
“Here in Seattle, we’ve put more money into education, put more money into human services, put more money into transit, at a time when the state can’t find the wherewithal to address those issues,” McGinn said.
McGinn continues to embrace the label given to him recently by a labor union as “the most progressive mayor in America.”
He’s trying to paint Murray as the establishment candidate, someone who is more tied to the Chamber of Commerce than to regular voters.
“The difference” McGinn said, “is that we’re not just talking about, you know, the few voices from downtown who control where all the resources go, but really listening to everybody in this city and focusing on their needs and being prepared to take a stand on those issues as well.”
Murray scoffs at the idea that he not progressive enough.
“It almost just makes me want to laugh when I hear that I might be ‘too establishment’ — the guy who passed a gay rights bill and a gay marriage bill, somebody who is fairly marginalized in the Legislature for years and people said my issues would never succeed,” Murray said. “When I proposed the largest gas tax in state history, people laughed at me so I hardly think I’m the establishment candidate.”
Additional primary election results show McGinn edged up a bit. He now has 28% of the vote to Murray’s 30%.