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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 18, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 33
Martin Luther King County Labor Council backs Jenny Durkan
Section One
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Martin Luther King County Labor Council backs Jenny Durkan

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer The Martin Luther King County Labor Council (MLKCLC) endorsed Jenny Durkan for Seattle Mayor at its August 16 delegates meeting. Durkan, an out Lesbian and former US Attorney, will face businesswoman and urban planner Cary Moon in the November general election.

MLKCLC represents 150 union locals and district councils and about 150,000 workers.

The group had backed Ed Murray when he looked like a sure bet to win reelection. When the scandal-plagued Murray dropped out of the race, the Labor Council then dual-endorsed Bob Hasegawa and Jessyn Farrell.

Hasegawa, now a State Senator, was president of Teamsters Local 174 and one of the architects of the WTO protests in November 1999. He ultimately came in fifth in the field of 21 mayoral candidates.

Farrell, former head of the Transportation Choices coalition, quit her job as a State Representative to put all her efforts into the mayoral race. She came in fourth in the race.

While the labor council backed Hasegawa and Farrell in the primary, SPOG (the police union) and the Firefighters' union were behind Durkan from the start. SEA, which represents Seattle school teachers, dual-endorsed Farrell and Nikkita Oliver, the third-place finisher.

When the motion to endorse Durkan came to the MLKCLC delegates on August 16, no one spoke in favor of Moon, and the endorsement sailed through with only a smattering of No votes.

In her speech to the delegates after receiving their support, Durkan first asked all those who voted for Hasegawa and Farrell to stand. Most of the delegates stood up. Then she asked all her voters to stand. The police and firefighter delegates stood.

'That's how we have to be,' Durkan said. 'All standing together.'

Union retirees at the meeting said they had fond memories of Durkan's father, Martin - a veteran state legislator (1957-1975) - who was known as an ally of public sector unions.

In other races, labor-endorsed Seattle City Council candidate Teresa Mosqueda led second-place candidate Jon Grant by more than 8,000 votes, making her the odds-on favorite to win the general election for an at-large City Council seat.

MLKCLC Executive Secretary Nicole Grant vowed to elect Mosqueda in November.

'She is one of us,' Grant said in a speech to the delegates, 'a union sister, and we will go all-out to elect her.'

In Burien, all four MLKCLC-endorsed City Council candidates made it through to the general election. If elected, the labor-backed candidates would flip the Council from a conservative to a progressive majority.

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