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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 12, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 19
Seattle mayoral race: Ed out, Bob Hasegawa and Jenny Durkan in
Section One
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Seattle mayoral race: Ed out, Bob Hasegawa and Jenny Durkan in

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

With Ed Murray dropping out of his race for re-election, who will be Seattle's next mayor seems to be anybody's guess.

As Murray quit the race, two new candidates jumped in: state Sen. Bob Hasegawa and former US Attorney Jenny Durkan. They join Mike McGinn, Nikkita Oliver, Cary Moon, and eight other candidates.

Bob Hasegawa
Hasegawa kicked off his campaign May 8 on the steps of the downtown Wells Fargo Center 'as a statement of his lifelong commitment to economic justice and to highlight the need for a municipal bank as the linchpin for his economic justice agenda,' according to a campaign statement.

As a legislator, Hasegawa is a longtime advocate of a state bank, and he would push for a city-owned bank if he is elected mayor, he said.

A city bank would help Seattle divest from Wall Street, raise revenue, provide small businesses with access to credit, and better leverage taxpayer dollars, Hasegawa explained.

'If we can borrow from ourselves, we'll be borrowing probably at a better rate, and when we're repaying it, we'll be repaying ourselves,' he said.

Hasegawa has represented the 11th District in the state Senate since January 2013. Prior to that he was representative from the 11th, taking office in 2005.

Shortly after taking his Senate seat, Hasegawa voted against a multibillion dollar tax break for Boeing. He also sponsored - and passed - a bill requiring state agencies to post emergency notices in languages other than English. The measure is awaiting Gov. Jay Inslee's signature.

As former president of Teamsters Local 174 and leader of Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) - a reform caucus in the International Brotherhood of Teamsters - Hasegawa was one of the leading organizers of the mass union turnout for the WTO protests in November 1999. At age 64, he is currently a Teamsters retiree.

Sources say that Hasegawa discreetly approached local labor leaders to gauge their support and was told they were still backing Murray but would view him as a 'backup' in case Murray dropped out of the race. He is now expected to get significant labor support.

Unfortunately for Hasegawa, as a sitting state legislator, he is barred by law from raising money for his campaign while the legislature is still in session.

Jenny Durkan
Meanwhile, Jenny Durkan announced on May 11 that she would formally enter the race with a Beacon Hill campaign event on May 12.

She also has been discreetly lining up support for a run, if and when Murray exited the race. Unlike Hasegawa, her support reportedly comes from business interests uneasy about the progressive tilt of other mayoral candidates.

'Based on the early framing, I think she's looking to hold the moderate position Mayor Murray came into office with while also pushing left,' said Marco Lowe, a Seattle University professor who worked in the McGinn administration.

'Because right now, everybody else is positioned to the left of her. We'll see them start to push back.'

An out Lesbian, Durkan was appointed US Attorney for the Western District of Washington by President Barack Obama in 2009 and served until 2014.

In 2011, Durkan joined with the ACLU and community activists to request a Justice Department review of the Seattle Police Department. The ensuing investigation led to a pattern and practice complaint against SPD and eventually a consent decree ordering police to reform.

A downside to her experience as US Attorney is that she also prosecuted medical marijuana dispensaries and advised the state not to decriminalize pot sales.

In 1994, Durkan served for several months as a staffer for then-Gov. Mike Lowry. She is also a close friend, advisor, and attorney of former Gov. Christine Gregoire. She represented the Democratic Party in the bitter legal fight over Gregoire's 129-vote election victory in 2004.

This will be Durkan's first run for public office, and it remains to be seen whether her powerful connections and professional résumé will translate into vote-getting power.

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Seattle mayoral race: Ed out, Bob Hasegawa and Jenny Durkan in
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