It’s almost a year before the 2013 general election, but the race for Seattle mayor continues to draw a crowd. Former Seattle City Councilman Peter Steinbrueck held a press conference Wednesday morning to formally announce his candidacy.
Speaking in front of a crowd of about 30 supporters at Pike Place Market, Steinbrueck said the four priorities of his campaign are safe and walkable neighborhoods, strong schools, sensible travel mobility and a sustainable pattern of growth.
Steinbrueck did not provide details of those priorities, but he did briefly discuss his opinions about several ongoing issues. When asked about the Sodo arena plan he said other locations would be more appropriate because of possible impacts on the maritime industry. Steinbrueck is a paid lobbyist for the Port of Seattle and has opposed the arena on the Port’s behalf.
Steinbrueck said Rainier Valley and the east side of Lake Washington would be better arena locations. “There is support in the Rainier Valley community where there might be less impact and more space for the kinds of complementary activity that would surround an arena,” he said. As for the Eastside, “They don’t have a stadium on the Eastside. And in fact most of the fans that go on to see the games come from the Eastside.”
Steinbrueck was also asked for his opinions about the ongoing effort to reform the Seattle Police Department. He said he took seriously the reforms that the city negotiated with the US Department of Justice. “I honor and value our police force,” he said. “And at the same time, we must have performance and accountability. We can do better.”
Steinbrueck is not the only candidate to enter the race this week. On Monday, neighborhood activist and former Seattle School Board candidate Kate Martin said she would run. Other candidates who have expressed interest in the race are state Senator Ed Murray, Seattle City Councilman Tim Burgess, and real estate developer Charlie Staadecker.
As for the man they seek to replace, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn made an announcement Wednesday about housing--not about the upcoming mayoral race. “The election is starting pretty early,” McGinn said in an interview. “We thought we could have taken at least more than a few weeks off after the big November general election.”
McGinn’s campaign account has about $95,000. McGinn has said he will announce whether he will run for re-election sometime after the holidays.