With the exit of Ed Murray from the race for mayor, the voters of Seattle have won before even casting a ballot. Seattle under the spineless, petulant, thin-skinned “leadership” of Murray has been rudderless, and four years were more than enough. With Murray out of the race, the most diverse assortment of mayoral candidates in the history of Seattle has entered the fray, and a few are pretty great. We’ve gone from an embarrassment to Seattle to an embarrassment of riches.

With 21 candidates divvying up the votes for mayor of Seattle, it’s very possible that at least one candidate will advance to the General Election in November while receiving less than 20% of the vote. Your vote matters!

Those who know me well know that I loved having Mike McGinn as my mayor. Yes, his Long Island/Pacific Northwest accent and his disheveled wardrobe are a bit goofy, and while some considered him to be divisive and hard to work with while he was mayor from 2010 to 2014, that was more a reflection of an obstructionist city council than it was of McGinn’s style itself.

With the likes of Tim Burgess, Jean Godden, Richard Conlin and Sally Clark off the Seattle City Council, and with four years of experience under his belt, Mike McGinn will be a far more effective mayor today than he was four years ago.

When it comes to issues like police reform, transit funding, taxation policy, sports arenas, and (of course) bike lanes, I agree with McGinn on almost everything. If our 22nd and 24th President of the United States, Grover Cleveland, can spend four years in the wilderness and then come back to lead again, why can’t the Mayor of Seattle?

(P.S. If you really don’t want to have another white dude as your mayor, please vote for Nikkita Oliver.)


Sara Nelson owns the Fremont Brewing Company. Sara Nelson met her husband at the WTO protests in 1999. Sara Nelson loves Barack Obama. It seems that a beer-drinking, riotous, lefty like her would be the ideal candidate for Doug’s Voter’s Guide. But she’s not.

We have two better candidates than Nelson in this race: Jon Grant and Teresa Mosqueda. They are both strong on affordable housing, renters’ rights, the minimum wage, and transit. But Grant is better.

Does anyone remember Judy Nicastro? She served on the Seattle City Council from 2000 to 2004, until she was caught up in some ridiculous “scandal” involving parking lots and strippers, which got her voted out of office. She was the last effective advocate for renters that we’ve had on the city council. It’s been too long.

Jon Grant has a background as an affordable housing advocate for both the Tenants Union and Solid Ground. With average people (both renters and homeowners) being pushed out of Seattle every day due to the high cost of housing, we need a voice like Grant’s on the Seattle City Council now more than ever.


Lorena Gonzalez first ran for city council in 2015. I didn’t vote for her. She had been a legal advisor for Mayor Ed Murray (boy, I bet she’s happy to not have that gig anymore), and I was afraid she’d be a rubber stamp for him. But she hasn’t been.

I was not pleased by the way she handled her vote on the SoDo Arena street vacation (she seemingly switched her vote at, literally, the last minute without a logical explanation), but I’ll chalk that up to a rookie so many that the dear, departed Sonics made.

In her two years on the council, Gonzalez has been a strong voice on immigrant rights, paid family leave, the minimum wage, and especially police accountability, sponsoring a bill this year which created new citizen-led systems overseeing SPD. We need a police accountability advocate on the city council more than we need a new basketball arena in SoDo.



There are some really strange bedfellows on both sides of this issue. Supporting this measure, which raises the county sales tax 0.1% in order to expand access to arts, science and cultural programming for students, are Bill Nye the Science Guy and Viper from “Top Gun”. Opposing it are local civil rights legend Larry Gossett and Republican patsy Dino Rossi. What’s up with that?

What’s up is King County voters are suffering from sales tax fatigue. It is inarguable that sales taxes are regressive—they disproportionately affect those least able to pay. This tax, however, will give those same people access to things like the Pacific Science Center, the Seattle Symphony, the Seattle Aquarium, and a bunch of other cool stuff. You know, culture.

I too have sales tax fatigue. There’s got to be a better way to give everyone access to art, culture, and science than regressive taxation. But until we come up with some better way to pay (ahem, a state income tax) we’re gonna have to sleep with what we got.


Goodspaceguy is back! I’ve lost count of how many times he’s appeared on my ballot, but it must be well into the teens. He makes Dino Rossi look like an electoral virgin touched for the very first time. Frankly Mr. Spaceguy is running for the wrong office. This would’ve been a great year for him to run in a super-crowded field like Mayor of Seattle. The 10% of the vote he received while running for Port of Seattle Commissioner in 2015 might just be enough to advance to the General Election in the mayoral race.

Also back for another go is Dow Constantine, our well-coiffed, indy-rock-loving King County Executive since 2009 (when he beat Susan Hutchinson in a really ugly race...whatever happened to her?). This will be the third time you can vote for Dow for County Executive...and likely the last. Can you say “Governor Constantine”? (I think President Inslee just did).



My friend Steve Breaux knows his wine. A connoisseur, surely. Some might even say a snob. Whites, reds, rosés, and ports. Oh ports...Steve knows his ports. He also knows public policy, having been a lobbyist and advocate for labor rights and women’s health. His knowledge and experience are the reasons I strongly endorse Steve Breaux as Commissioner of Port.

Oh, wait, what? Port Commissioner? That’s a different story.

The Seattle Port Commission is kind of a mess. So much drama and petty scandal, it looks like Melrose Place over there. John Creighton has been co-starring in this soap opera since 2006 and maybe it’s time for him and the Shell Arctic oil drilling boat he to rode in on to sail into the sunset.

With fresh blood, new ideas, and an adorable daughter who he features in his self-shot online campaign videos comes Ryan Calkins. Calkins is a small business owner with experience working with the Port who will bring an environmentally sound set of policies to the Port Commission. Hopefully drama-free.


Oh man, this is a tough one. Two earnest challengers with very little experience versus another Shell Arctic oil drilling rig apologist incumbent. I think a Commissioner of Port would do just fine on the Port Commission after all.


I guess Peter Steinbrueck wants back in the game. Steinbrueck served three terms on the Seattle City Council from 1997 to 2007 and then (if my memory serves me correctly) decided not to run for re-election for any particular reason. After some time off, he ran for mayor in 2013. And lost. Now he’s running for Port Commissioner Position 4, which is incumbent-free since current commissioner Tom Albro decided to escape the Port's soap opera and not run for re-election.

I liked Steinbrueck as a councilmember and was disappointed when he decided not to run again in 2007. He was feisty, professorial, and a bit of a curmudgeon. He’s also a legacy. The park by Pike Place Market with its melting pot of tourists, hipsters, and hobos is named after his dad, Victor, who helped save both Pioneer Square and the Market from development.

I like Steinbrueck’s proposal to look into creating another regional airport in the Puget Sound area. Alaska Airlines will begin flying out of Everett’s Paine Field in 2018. It’s an interesting idea to expand commercial airline service beyond Sea-Tac. The Bay Area and Los Angeles have options, why not us?

Steinbrueck has experience, integrity, and vision. Now he just needs a job.