by Mike Andrew -
SGN Staff Writer
The early morning e-mail from State Sen. Ed Murray's campaign promised that a 'special guest' would make 'an announcement ... that will have a major impact on the mayoral race' at 10 a.m. on June 27.
The special guest turned out to be four-term King County Executive and former HUD Deputy Secretary Ron Sims, announcing his endorsement of Murray for mayor of Seattle.
Sims had once been touted as a potential candidate for mayor, and early polling showed him leading the pack, but he ultimately decided not to run. He has been a fixture of King County politics since the mid-1980s and remains hugely popular among union members, progressives, and communities of color. Sims's seal of approval is a major coup for Murray's campaign.
CITES SHARED VALUES
Saying he was 'enthusiastic' about Murray's candidacy, Sims acknowledged that as county executive he'd had differences of opinion with the senator.
'We called them 'exchanges,' but other people called them 'clashes,' Sims grinned. 'It's because we're both strong-willed people.'
Nevertheless, Sims said, he respects Murray as a skilled coalition-builder who could assemble the necessary forces to realize his political goals.
'Ed Murray is the right person at the right time to lead Seattle into a new era of progress and prosperity,' Sims said in a prepared statement.
'Throughout his career, Ed has demonstrated a talent for translating our shared progressive values into positive results in areas like transit and transportation, affordable housing, and of course civil rights. He does it by uniting diverse constituencies behind a common vision. He builds coalitions that deliver results, and that is exactly the kind of leadership we need in our next mayor.
'Some people say you need a 'strong' mayor,' Sims continued. 'No, no! You need a mayor who states his goals and then brings together a coalition to accomplish them.'
THE NEXT CLEVELAND?
Citing Murray's legislative experience chairing the Senate Transportation Committee, and later the Senate Ways and Means Committee, Sims said he would be 'the kind of mayor who can get things done.'
'I want this to be a marvelous community - one with momentum, with gravitas. We don't have that right now,' Sims said, warning that Seattle could one day 'look like Gary, Indiana, or Cleveland' if its current trajectory is not reversed.
'I have a deep feeling for this community,' Sims continued. 'I want it to be the best place in the world.
'I love our neighborhoods, but you can't choose between downtown and the neighborhoods. You can't say 'I'm the neighborhood person,' or 'I'm the downtown person.' You've got to have both.'
INSPIRATION AND VISION
Murray said he was 'honored' to have the endorsement of someone 'who would be leading the mayor's race had he chosen to get in.'
Seattle is 'a city that needs inspiration, a city that needs a vision,' Murray said, repeating one of the major themes of his campaign.
'Seattle has lost its flash,' Sims agreed. 'My biggest frustration is that the community sank into bickering.'
Both, however, declined to criticize incumbent mayor Mike McGinn by name.
'I'm not anti-McGinn,' Sims said in response to a question about the incumbent's leadership abilities, 'and I'm not going to be drawn into that.'
Sims also declined to say which candidates he'd talked with before deciding to endorse Murray.
'I know them all!' he said, opening his arms wide as if to embrace the whole field. 'I talked to the ones that I thought I had a real chance of endorsing.'
On June 26, the day before the Sims endorsement, Murray also received sole endorsements from Washington Conservation Voters and the Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy, the political arm of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce.
Share on Facebook
Share on Delicious
Share on StumbleUpon!