I am paying close attention to the Washington primaries for a couple of reasons. First I live just outside of Seattle, but more importantly, environmental issues are playing an important role in the Seattle mayoral and the King County Executive races. Could the Emerald City get even greener?
Thousands of votes have yet to be counted, but community organizer and environmental activist Mike McGinn has a slim lead in the Seattle mayoral primary. McGinn, known for his strong ties to the community and the environment, won the endorsement of the Cascade Chapter for the Sierra Club. As well he should have…he chaired the local chapter, overseeing the Club’s work on state and local issues, and serving on the Club’s national political committee. Most recently, McGinn was chosen by the Sierra Club President to serve on the nominating committee for the Sierra Club National Board.
Even though the mayoral primary is still up in the air – McGinn currently has 27% of the vote closely followed by T-Mobile executive, Joe Mallahan with 26% and incumbent Greg Nickels with 25% – McGinn has a great chance of advancing to the general election on November 3.
At the county level, the picture is much clearer. The candidates for the King County Executive race are confirmed. Former news anchor and conservative Susan Hutchison will face off with King County Councilman, Dow Constantine. Similar to McGinn, Constantine also won the endorsement of the local Sierra Club chapter. He helped lead the way to the successful 2008 Seattle light rail package and stood up to a multinational mining company targeting a marine reserve in the Puget Sound.
Come November 3 it will be interesting to see how voters embrace these two candidates. Could the Emerald City ever be too “green”? Could voters be experiencing “environmental fatigue”? Even though Seattleites showed strong support for the “green” candidates last night, they also showed they may not be willing to pay more for environmental initiatives. They did reject the 20-cent grocery bag fee.
Image credit: Simonds at Flickr under a Creative Commons license