Democratic Party Activists Weigh In On Seattle Mayor's Race

May 17, 2013

Democratic activists in the city of Seattle last night began picking favorites in the Seattle mayoral election. Incumbent mayor Mike McGinn didn’t make their list.

The 46th District Democrats was the first local party organization to endorse in the race. The 46th Legislative District includes parts of north Seattle, Shoreline, and Kenmore.

State Senator Ed Murray and former Seattle City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck shared a dual endorsement from the group.

Five of the eight declared candidates for mayor sought the endorsement: Mayor Mike McGinn, City Councilmembers Bruce Harrell and Tim Burgess, former City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck and State Senator Ed Murray.

McGinn failed to advance beyond the first ballot. Burgess came in fourth, and Harrell placed last. Only a handful of votes separated the candidates, though. Fewer than 100 people participated in the voting.

Despite the small numbers, party activists say the endorsement can make a difference to a campaign.

“People look to see who has endorsed you, they look to see if there are Democratic endorsements. And that can make a difference in a mostly Democratic city,” said Murray.

Local party organizations also promise logistical support to the candidates they endorse.

“There’s an army of people who will go door to door,” said Steinbrueck. “My name will appear on all the literature that is distributed, and on the websites. I expect to get additional volunteers and support and contributions out of it.”

Mayor McGinn said the vote showed how competitive this race is. But he also pointed out that there are a lot of endorsements up for grabs. A half-dozen local Democratic organizations will weigh in on the Seattle mayor's race in the coming weeks.