Pocket Guide To The Seattle Mayor's Race

May 7, 2013

UPDATE: 5/21/13, 3:50 p.m. PT

The list of candidates running for Seattle mayor is now finalized, and despite the withdrawal of one high-profile contender, the field has gotten even more crowded.

In an eleventh hour surprise, City Councilmember Tim Burgess, the leading fundraiser in the race, announced he was dropping out.

At the same time, two relatively unknown candidates entered the field, bringing the total number of mayoral hopefuls to nine.

So if you are having trouble keeping all the candidates straight, we totally understand. That’s why we created our handy Pocket Guide To The Seattle Mayors Race.

Here are the candidates, in alphabetical order:

Joey Gray: Late entrant to the race. Librarian, environmental and bicycle activist, and proponent of the sport of Ultimate Frisbee. Since 2011, she has organized protests against oil from the Canadian tar sands. Gray said she decided to run because the candidates have not been addressing the issue of climate change and because there is a "gender imbalance" in the race.

Bruce Harrell: Serving his second term on the Seattle City Council, where he is the only person of color. A Garfield High School graduate and UW football star, he's a former corporate lawyer who first won election to the council after his opponent was arrested for drunk driving. On the council, he's advocated for police to wear body cameras, for LED streetlights and for a strong monitor to oversee police reform efforts.

Kate Martin: Designer and community activist from Greenwood, where Mayor McGinn also lives. In 2011, she ran unsuccessfully for Seattle School Board. She calls herself a combination "policy wonk and visionary" who fights for kids. She’s calling for more emphasis on basic city services, including building more sidewalks. Wants to preserve the Alaskan Way Viaduct and put open space on the top deck.

Mary Martin: Representing the Socialist Workers' Party, she works at a popcorn packaging factory in Kent. She says she entered the race (which she refers to as a “bourgeois election”) when it became clear the working class would have no voice. Says her top advisors in the campaign are Karl Marx, Rosa Luxemborg, Malcolm X and Fidel Castro. Says the answer to most policy challenges lies in workers and farmers taking power from the capitalist class.

Mike McGinn: First-term incumbent mayor of Seattle. Former attorney, neighborhood activist and Sierra Club chair. He won election in 2009 as an opponent of the proposed downtown tunnel, with the backing of a coalition of bicycle, pedestrian and environmental activists. As mayor, he has pushed for a dramatic re-zoning of South Lake Union, a new NBA arena in Sodo, and the creation of the Community Police Commission (he eventually capitulated on the tunnel).

Doug McQuaid: Late entrant to the race. West Seattle attorney who ran unsuccessfully last year for state Supreme Court. McQuaid does not have a campaign website and did not answer KUOW's email or phone calls.

Ed Murray: State senator representing the 43rd Legislative District since 2006. Previously served 11 years in the state House of Representatives. Long-time champion of gay civil rights and prime sponsor of the state's marriage equality law. His website notes that he would be the first gay mayor in the city's history. As transportation chair, he helped pass two major transportation funding packages. Served briefly as Senate majority leader until unseated by a new two-party coalition.

Charlie Staadecker: Fourth generation Seattleite, and bow-tied commercial real estate broker. Elected twice to Vashon Island School Board. Patron of the performing arts who has commissioned 19 original works for theater. Believes the next mayor needs to rebuild trust with the city. Says his focus would be jobs, education, public safety and quality of life.

Peter Steinbrueck: Son of noted urban preservationist Victor Steinbrueck, he's an architect and urban planner who served three terms on the Seattle City Council. On the council, Steinbrueck advocated for preservation of industrial and maritime lands and for the creation of affordable housing. Most recently, he has led the charge against putting a new NBA arena in Sodo and against the city's plan for dramatically raising building heights in South Lake Union.