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August 25, 2009 at 5:25 PM

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Murray gives himself 25% chance of running

Posted by Jim Brunner

LATE UPDATE:

State Sen. Ed Murray called me back this evening (as I was walking to the Mariners game) and said he's still thinking about the idea of running an unusual write campaign for mayor.

Murray put his odds of running at this point at 25 percent.

As a guy who has run campaigns before, Murray said he's sifting through the practical considerations, such as whether the campaign would be feasible. For example, would the county auditor reject votes that spelled his name "Murry" or "Murrey"? Serious questions for such an unusual sort of campaign.

Murray repeated that this wasn't his idea, but said he is seriously considering it. He said he has not seen the results of a poll commissioned to test his name, and even suggested he may not be the only name being floated.

In any case, Murray said he'll probably make a decision next week.

Earlier post follows:

I spoke this afternoon with David Rolf, president of SEIU Healthcare 775, a union widely rumored to be at least partially behind polling to test whether state Sen. Ed Murray should launch a write-in campaign for mayor.

Rolf refused to talk about the poll or confirm SEIU's involvement. "We are asked to contribute to a lot of polls and we generally don't discuss them publicly," he said.

But Rolf said unions are left without any obvious champion in the mayor's race since the defeat of incumbent Greg Nickels in the primary. (Some business interests, like Vulcan Inc., find themselves in the same boat.)

"It seems like a wide open field and we're looking forward to getting to know Joe Mallahan and Mike McGinn and if someone else gets into the race, we will look forward to getting to know them too," Rolf said.

If nothing else, the public dissatisfaction being expressed by union leaders with the mayoral field is certain to grab the attention of McGinn and Mallahan and make them more sensitive to union concerns.

And maybe that's the whole point.

Rolf said he had a positive hour and a half talk with McGinn over coffee today.

Mallahan, too, has talked about meeting and last week he publicly reached out to unions that had bashed him during the primary, saying he holds no grudges.

Over at Publicola this afternoon, Josh Feit says the polling was done by EMC Research. That makes some sense - the company has long been the pollster for the now-ousted Nickels.

Murray has not returned phone messages today.

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