If Seattle is a happenin’ place, you wouldn’t know it from election results this time. One-term Mayor Mike McGinn, a true liberal maverick and disrupter, lost his reelection bid to Ed Murray. He’s a long-time liberal state senator favored by corporate interests whose whole campaign suggested the boat won’t be rocked on his watch. The largely do-nothing liberal City Council won reelection.
Seattle voters–far more so than the rest of the state–rejected a proposed initiative that would have make it easier to collect citizen signatures in public places for future ballot questions. That’s consistent with the belief of myself and others in the existence of the Seattle Freeze, a concept that describes interactions with persons New To Seattle and, I suspect, Old To Seattle as well.
True, city voters did favor labeling genetically modified food, which would have sent quite a signal across the country. But they apparently (votes are still being counted) were wildly outvoted on that by the rest of the state, which saw unprecedented amounts of out-of-state money and largely false advertising.
I think Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat got it about right today. Of the mayor’s race, he wrote, “The truth about Seattle politics is we don’t want a liberal bomb thrower. We want a liberal committee-chairer!” The people of Seattle strike me as a pretty self-satisfied bunch.