Nickels faces no big-name challengers
Four years ago, Greg Nickels became Seattle's mayor in white-knuckle fashion, winning the closest mayoral race in recent decades. He may not have...
Four years ago, Greg Nickels became Seattle's mayor in white-knuckle fashion, winning the closest mayoral race in recent decades.
He may not have to break a sweat to win a second term. The candidate-filing deadline passed yesterday and no major challengers stepped up, despite efforts by some neighborhood activists to recruit a marquee opponent.
The best-known of Nickels' seven opponents may be Omari Tahir-Garrett, who served a prison sentence for striking former Mayor Paul Schell in the face with a bullhorn four years ago. Garrett filed for office yesterday, joining several little-known challengers.
Others running for Seattle mayor are former University of Washington professor Al Runte; Christal Wood, a social-services advocate; socialist Chris Hoeppner; cable-access show host Richard Lee; and Seattle residents Jeanne Dixon and Luke Williams.
Several other local incumbents will face more-difficult fights to keep their jobs, including King County Executive Ron Sims, three Seattle City Council incumbents and four Metropolitan King County Council members scrambling for two seats on the newly downsized body.
Sims, a Democrat, has been at the center of numerous controversies, including mismanagement at the county elections office, Sound Transit's smaller-than-promised light-rail line and recent efforts to lure Southwest Airlines to Boeing Field.
Sims has drawn opponents in the Democratic primary — political unknown Karen Rispoli and former Libertarian and perennial candidate Michael Nelson — and faces more-serious competition in November from Republican County Councilman David Irons.
For a complete listing of all races, see:
King County: www.metrokc.gov/elections/
Snohomish County: www1.co.snohomish.wa.us/Departments/Auditor/
Two primary-election battles will likely determine the face of the new, smaller Metropolitan King County Council. Voters last fall decided to cut the council to nine members from 13, forcing a redistricting that threw incumbent Democrats Carolyn Edmonds of Shoreline and Bob Ferguson of Seattle into the same district. It also pitted Republicans Reagan Dunn of Bellevue and Steve Hammond of Enumclaw against each other.
On the nonpartisan Seattle City Council, three of the four incumbents seeking re-election face stiff challenges.
Several weeks ago, it appeared Councilman Richard Conlin would face the most competition, but two of his declared rivals bolted to other races. Still, Conlin is opposed by Port of Seattle Commissioner Paige Miller, and Darlene Madenwald, a former nurse and public-health activist.
Council President Jan Drago picked up one of Conlin's former challengers in Casey Corr, a former newspaper journalist and Nickels aide. Corr criticized Drago's fervent support of the monorail project in making his switch.
Drago also is being challenged by socialist Linda Averill and activist Ángel Bolaños.
As expected, Councilman Richard McIver picked up two rivals: Metropolitan King County Councilman Dwight Pelz, who also left the Conlin race, and Robert Rosencrantz, a landlord and former manager of a nonprofit housing agency.
A fourth council incumbent, Nick Licata, faces real-estate broker Paul Bascomb, a political newcomer.
Port of Seattle Commission races are often little-noticed. But this year, 13 candidates are competing for three seats and could tip the balance of power on the five-member board, which presides over the airport, the waterfront and more than $700 million in spending a year.
The open seat created by Miller's bid for City Council has drawn five contenders. They include Richard Berkowitz, director of Pacific Coast operations for the Transportation Institute, a trade association; Peter Coates, executive secretary of the Seattle-King County Building and Construction Trades Council; and Lloyd Hara, a former Seattle city treasurer and auditor.
Patricia Davis, an 18-year incumbent, is being challenged by four candidates, including Bellevue attorney Richard Pope, who has run twice before, and Jack Jolley, a former Microsoft assistant treasurer.
Incumbent Lawrence Molloy drew two challengers: attorney John Creighton and Wen Wu Lee.
Despite well-publicized woes of Seattle schools, a relatively small field of candidates is competing for three seats on the Seattle School Board.
The most high-profile race may be District 5, where incumbent Mary Bass, a King County employee, is being challenged by Jane Fellner, a physician who has spent years pushing the district to offer more rigorous courses; LaCrese Green, a retiree who tutors children; and Steve Tauber, who works for Verizon Wireless.
In the District 4 race, Ballard High School PTSA President Michael DeBell will go up against two lesser-known candidates — Sean Russel, a civil defense attorney, and Astrid Gielen, a sophomore studying biology at the University of Washington.
In District 7, the candidates are: Cheryl Chow, a former school principal and former Seattle City Council member who runs programs for the Girl Scouts-Totem Council; Alan Lloyd, a Seattle Public Schools parent who oversees a state division serving developmentally disabled children in Pierce County; Linda Thompson-Black, state director of a national dropout-prevention program; Theresa Cardamone, a previously unsuccessful candidate for School Board; and David von Beck, an attorney specializing in construction defects.
None of the city's best-known monorail opponents filed for a pair of open seats on the Seattle Monorail Project board, despite the furor over a 50-year finance plan that the agency recently dropped under pressure. Board members Cleve Stockmeyer and Cindi Laws are running for re-election to seats they won in 2003. Just two of the nine monorail board positions are elected.
Dick Falkenbury, the tour-bus driver who started the city monorail movement, is challenging Stockmeyer. Falkenbury says he'd look for cheaper ways to build the monorail. Stockmeyer, an attorney, is leading the board's search for a new executive director to replace Joel Horn, who resigned with board Chairman Tom Weeks on July 4.
Also running for Stockmeyer's position is Jim Nobles.
Laws, a grocery-store worker and director of a progressive think tank, favors rejecting the monorail's current $1.6 billion contract offer and inviting another group to try to propose a less-expensive system. She is being challenged by Beth Goldberg, a King County employee who said she wanted to bring greater financial scrutiny to the project, and Stan Lippmann, a fan of magnetic-levitation rail technology.
King County Sheriff Sue Rahr will face off against sheriff's Sgt. Jim Fuda and Seattle police Lt. Greg Schmidt for the top law-enforcement job.
Seattle Times staff reporters Jim Brunner, Sara Jean Green, Mike Lindblom, Keith Ervin, Diane Brooks, Alwyn Scott, Ashley Bach, Christopher Schwarzen and news assistants Suesan Whitney Henderson and Jeff Albertson contributed to this report.
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