Before we get into some of the new endorsements, I’d like to just recap some endorsements from the primary that are still relevant.

Our editorial board is Martin H. Duke, Ben Schiendelman, and John Jensen, with valued input from the rest of the staff.

Dow Constantine (Seattle Weekly)
Dow Constantine (Seattle Weekly)

Dow Constantine for King County Executive. Councilmember Constantine has been a longtime supporter of aggressively expanding our bus and rail service.  He has experience with both the King County and State of Washington legislatures, giving him good contacts in both.  Furthermore, he is unique in having a Master of Urban Planning degree from UW, giving him sophisticated insights into one of the most critical issues confronting the County. He has been deeply involved in the details of finding a solution to the Metro budget crisis.

His opponent, Susan Hutchison, has no experience in government.  She has been evasive and vague when answering questions about key transportation issues.  When she has gotten at all specific, the answers have been quite worrying to transit advocates.

We will also add that this is the most important race in this election cycle.  The office may be the most important one — at any level — in terms of impact on transit, as the Executive runs King County Metro, the foot ferry system, and appoints 10 of the 18 members of the Sound Transit Board of Directors.  This a huge responsibility that deeply impacts the experience of anyone who uses the services of any of these agencies.  There is also a large difference between the candidates.

Richard Conlin for Seattle City Council Position 2. Conlin has been a consistent friend of transit on the Council, and takes important pro-density positions.

Mike OBrien (
Mike O'Brien (

Sally Bagshaw for Seattle City Council Position 4
Jessie Israel for Seattle City Council Position 6
While both of these candidates have essentially acceptable views on transit and land use, their opponents do not.  Bagshaw opponent David Bloom, like his ally John Fox, basically opposes all large infrastructure and development projects.  Bloom’s policies would result in skyrocketing housing prices, never-ending sprawl, and no alternative to buses sitting in traffic.   Israel’s opponent, Councilmember Nick Licata, is a progressive voice, but his skepticism of the establishment has led him to foolishly flirt with anti-rail figures in the past.

Mike O’Brien for Seattle City Council Position 8. Mike O’Brien is a committed environmentalist that understands the need for dense, walkable, transit-oriented neighborhoods.  His transportation plan is both progressive and, avoiding platitudes, focuses on areas where the City Council can actually make a difference.

You can also see our past endorsements for both Constantine and the City Council Candidates.  New endorsements will follow.

13 Replies to “STB Election Endorsement Recap”

  1. So if Bagshaw and O’Brien win the city council open seats, Conlin maintains his seat and Isreal upsets Licata, that would mean that 7 city council members would be pro-rail transit…pro-streetcar in particular (Gooden, Burgess, Clark, Bagshaw, O’Brien, Conlin and Isreal), leaving just two all-bus proponents. Wouldn’t this also be a veto-proof council as well if Mallahan (if he wins), tries to nix the First Hill and Central Streetcar lines?

    1. I haven’t followed close, but I wasn’t aware Rassmusen or Hasagawa were particularly anti-rail. Maybe a bit skeptical of the city streetcar plans, but a lot of even pro-rail people question streetcars particularly the SLUT and the First Hill line. See any comment thread here where streetcars are discussed. For that matter McGinn is very pro-rail but he’d rather build more Link than put money into streetcars.

      1. Who’s Hasagawa? Nobody on the Seattle City Council. Former Mariners relief pitcher, but I don’t think he entered politics. Maybe you mean Bruce Harrell?

  2. I agree with you about the KC Exec being the most important race of the election. McGinn–Mallahan might be more fun for the weeklies to cover, but either of them with Constantine is much better than one of them with Hutchison.

  3. So… this nearly unrelated but here’s another ridiculous NIMBY quote: “Seattle Displacement Coalition [aka John Fox] opposed Russell Hall because high-density developments such as Russell Hall tend to be more expensive residential options.” Russell Hall is a new mixed use building built for the non-profit Wesley Foundation. It replaced a parking lot, which as far as I can tell provides no housing at all.

    I will say that David Bloom has consistently been more willing to compromise than John Fox, though.

  4. You might want to take a closer look at the list of folks endorsing/donating to Richard Conlin to discover a number of people who are strong Downtown interests and not exactly pro-transit or pro-density unless it meets their particular interests.

    Anyone who was involved in supporting the monorail should note a number of recognizable names from the folks who funded and lobbied to kill the Project. Of note, is Henry Aronson, who also sued to kill the MVET tax because he hated the monorail so much. (Perhaps because it would run past his expensive condo on 2nd Ave.)

    I applaud Conlin’s bicycle riding and support for other Councilmembers’ legislation, but what exactly has he done that’s so pro-transit, especially in his work as a member of both the Regional Transit Committee and Sound Transit’s Board? He doesn’t even have it as a section on his Issues list.

    I think we’re long overdue for some strong City leadership in these areas, and that’s why I’m working to change this seat by electing David Ginsberg, who places transit and development amongst his key issues for running — particularly against Conlin.

  5. Am looking forward to how the STB Board parses their endorsement for mayor of Seattle this year!

  6. I think if Constantine wins County Exec. (a big IF at this point), and the city council shapes up as pro-transit, with the exception of Licata (who will likely win over Israel), then it seems we could almost come out of the post-Nickels fiasco with minimal damage. Constantine is really the only must-win for rail proponents this fall. He’s gotta win this County, right?

    1. I don’t think it’s fair to characterize Licata as “anti-transit.” He’s part of that segment of the left that likes transit but has been convinced that rail is too expensive, or whatever.

  7. Could STB come out with a statement on Tim Eyman’s latest idiocy, I-1033?

    At the very least I-1033 will lock in recession budgets for city, county, and state government even once tax revenue recovers. At the very least this means no general fund money for transportation or for civic improvements that help density. It will put government in permenent fiscal crisis mode that gets worse every year (since the cost of providing government services generally rises faster than the inflation rate for all goods and services)

    I’m also confused as to exactly which revenues will be counted against the limits of I-1033. For example does the tax for Metro or say sewer revenue count against the I-1033 cap of inflation+population growth?

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