December 21, 2006
Who's the most vulnerable Seattle City Councilmember?

Yesterday's article about local GOP plans to challenge incumbents on Seattle's dysfunctional City Council, has prompted some speculation:

Who are the most vulnerable incumbents running for re-election in 2007?

Peter Steinbrueck?
Sally Clark?
David Della?
Tom Rasmussen?
Jean Godden?

Personally, I would be least inclined to challenge Della, who has displayed more fiscal responsibility and common sense than anybody else running this season. I think that Steinbrueck is the worst member of the Council and also probably the most vulnerable. He's made a fool of himself with his ill-conceived anti-automobile crusade (while himself driving more than anybody else on the Council). At this writing he has the smallest campaign chest of everybody excluding Clark, who just had a campaign. But that's just me. Who do other folks think is most vulnerable? most deserving to be unseated?

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at December 21, 2006 05:00 PM | Email This
1. I was impressed with Jean Godden's statement (and I am paraphrasing and from memory but it was her clear message) that it didn't matter what the Tunnel cost.

Posted by: David Sucher on December 21, 2006 06:25 PM
2. the following is fropm

Councilmember Jean Godden said, "The Viaduct is an unsafe, substandard, noxious polluting structure that has blighted the city for two generations-fifty years. Too often in the past, we have been foolishly cheap and shortsighted. We must restore the City's portal to Puget Sound with a cut-and-cover tunnel."

Councilmember Tom Rasmussen said, "The Viaduct was planned and built when freeways were seen as the solution to our transportation needs. Like many other cities, we will not repeat the mistakes of the past. This Council has its eyes fixed on the future."

Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck said, "The state gave Seattle only two options, an even larger elevated freeway or a tunnel, so I am supporting 'a tunnel option.' My heart is more with a sustainable future, such as a surface option as a back-up plan, with more funds for rapid transit."

Posted by: Steve Beren on December 21, 2006 07:25 PM
3. I think we need a few key people to study up on the inner workings of the City Council, and then recruit volunteers for a campaign to win back a few seats for common sense.

I know someone on Rasmussen's staff--he's got a pretty good record in the community.

I would say Steinbrueck is probably the most vulnerable, but a strong challenger with the right message could probably take off any of the candidates up for re-election.

And there's plenty of message areas to capitalize on. The City's unpreparedness for natural disasters (as evidenced by the storm); the looming Viaduct disaster; solving the downtown Pike/Pine crime & drug crisis; livable communities; other transportation issues like walkable sidewalks, parking, and road maintenance--are just a few.

Posted by: Patrick on December 21, 2006 07:36 PM
4. I'm related to Della by marriage and see him at family gatherings a couple times a year (I also used to work with one of his brothers). Nice guy, sincere, a tad too liberal for my taste but I still like him (not enough to vote for him, but he understands). If you want to talk to him he'll at least listen to what you have to say, which is more than you can expect from your typical Seattle liberal.

Dave's biggest weakness is his fear of dentists and doctors - you should see him just cringe when people start talking about routine medical procedures. I keep telling him that if he really wants to run for governor he's going to need to get his teeth fixed, which appears to be same as telling him you plan to pour gasoline on him and set him on fire.

Posted by: H. Moul on December 21, 2006 07:47 PM
5. I'm afraid most of us east of the Montlake cut couldn't care less about Seattle city politics. This topic will be a good indicator.

Posted by: Organization Man on December 21, 2006 09:22 PM
6. I was hoping for perennial poll...which one is the worst
(gotta be Jean Godden)
Just points though to in Seattle, being a poor councilmember/dummy has no bearing on electability.

Posted by: righton on December 22, 2006 06:37 AM
7. Good to see Steve Berens weigh in. Do ya think he gets manpower to support a candidacy from the Rs?

And Stefan, to be truly competitive, you will need to run a good, full slate. Just going after one or two spots will be disastrous since the media will be able to skewer them no matter their qualifications.

The more the merrier and the more the message gets out there.

Posted by: swatter on December 22, 2006 06:43 AM
8. No way is Steinbrueck the most vulnerable, in the man's three elections the worst he's received is still over 70% of the vote (and it has increased each time). Rasmussen could be vulnerable to a challenge from his right. Rob Rosencrantz, perhaps?

Posted by: TMW on December 22, 2006 10:31 AM
9. 2003 General Election Results from

2003 -- November 4

City Council - Position 1
Jean Godden 63,867
Judy Nicastro 58,353

City Council - Position 3
Peter Steinbruedk 97,653
Zander Batchelder 20,725

City Council - Position 5
Tom Rasmussen 62,383
Margaret Pageler 57,997

City Council - Position 7
David J. Della 65,324
Heidi Wills 55,620

City Council - Position 9
Jim Compton 63,501
John E. Manning 50,093

Posted by: Steve Beren on December 22, 2006 11:10 AM
10. 2003 primary results from

City Of Seattle Council Pos. No. 01
David Ferguson 4567 3.97%
Art Skolnik 8049 6.99%
Jean Godden 20317 17.65%
Robert Rosencrantz 20142 17.50%
Kollin K. Min 19477 16.92%
Judy Nicastro 28958 25.16%
Darryl Smith 13607 11.82%

City Of Seattle Council Pos. No. 05
Linda Averill 11142 10.14%
Mike Thompson 6675 6.08%
Thomas L. Wade 2806 2.55%
Tom Rasmussen 27876 25.37%
Margaret Pageler 42363 38.56%
Dick Falkenbury 19000 17.29%

City Of Seattle Council Pos. No. 07
Christal Wood 12804 11.64%
Bob Hegamin 11996 10.91%
David J. Della 37180 33.81%
Heidi Wills 47985 43.64%

City Of Seattle Council Pos. No. 09
John E. Manning 26786 24.78%
Angel Bolanos 17449 16.14%
Jim Compton 43094 39.87%
Susan Harmon 20750 19.20%

Posted by: Steve Beren on December 22, 2006 11:21 AM
11. Well, which one are you going after and what endorsements have you or are you going after?

Posted by: swatter on December 22, 2006 03:52 PM
12. Della is the most vulnerable. 2007 will not be a good year to take on any of these incumbents. Most all of them have been actively campaigning for over a year. There's always the potential for a scandal to change things. But those things are rare.

Posted by: thor on December 22, 2006 04:14 PM
13. To Swatter at #11:

In response to your post on Sound Politics:

I have been approached with suggestions on what I should do in politics in 2007 or 2008, including running for the Seattle City Council. I will take a look at my various options during January, after the holidays.

If I did run for Seattle City Council, (as I told Neil Modie of the Seattle P-I) it would be as an acknowledged fiscal conservative seeking a more politically diverse city council, and with an emphasis on the issues of lowering taxes, improving the business climate, transportation, and dealing with crime.

I will weigh the pros and cons, including consideration of other options, and hope to make a decision by early February (the primary will be in August).

Posted by: Steve Beren on December 22, 2006 05:31 PM
14. Prediction: The KCGOP kicks zero dollars into this effort. Because it's a fool's errand.

Posted by: DJ on December 22, 2006 09:16 PM
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