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Both Seattle Mayoral Candidates Pro SoDo Arena

Mike McGinn and Ed Murray agree on one thing, the arena in SoDo, but only one got the endorsement of a major arena opponent, Peter Steinbrueck, and that candidate is Ed Murray. I'll tell you why Murray got the endorsement.

Seattle candidate for mayor, Ed Murray
Seattle candidate for mayor, Ed Murray

Yesterday, Seattle mayoral candidate Ed Murray got an endorsement from arena opponent Peter Steinbrueck. What was most interesting was that Murray doesn't oppose the arena, stating that he, "doesn't think an arena need be incompatible with industry."

The reality is that Peter Steinbrueck and his supporters didn't have anywhere to go with their votes. It's just unlikely that the arena hating bandwagon that's been badmouthing Mayor Mike McGinn over the arena for the past two years could completely reverse course to support the re-election of McGinn.

So, what could they do? Both candidates support the arena in SoDo. Both support the industrial activity in Seattle. But, only one has had credible experience at the state and local level when it comes to transportation, and that candidate is Ed Murray.

Ed Murray can say with confidence that he supports the arena,the manufacturing industrial neighborhoods, and the Port of Seattle. Sure, only the first two have actual plans that aren't purely aspirational. Ed Murray is a Washington State Senator and has worked on and passed transportation legislation at the state level. He's been there and done it.

So,with that, Ed Murray has taken the conflict between Mike McGinn and the Port (Seattle Times, Seattle Mariners, Peter Steinbrueck, and a handful of arena haters) and made the possibility of what can happen bigger, making the pie larger, so nobody feels like they are losing.

And, to a great degree, Chris Hansen, Mike McGinn, Tim Burgess, and most of us were making the same points a year ago that Murray has made. From the opposition's point of view (excluding fanatical arena haters) it just wasn't possible in the political context of the Seattle mayoral race to flip-flop to support McGinn.

Here, as reported by Knute Berger of Crosscut, is Ed Murray addressing both constituencies during Peter Steinbrueck's endorsement of Ed Murray for Mayor of Seattle.

. . . . Murray issued two policy papers at the event, one on "Neighborhoods" and the other an "Agenda for Industrial Growth." In both, Steinbrueck's hand can be seen, advocating for the protection and enhancement of the city's key industrial, marine and manufacturing areas, especially SoDo and Ballard. A SoDo basketball arena opponent, Steinbrueck made this issue a signature part of the race. Murray reiterated that he supports the arena in SoDo and doesn't think an arena need be incompatible with industry. Still, he says he sensitive to the challenges of making it work.

The follow-up question on Murray's position on the arena came from Josh Feit at Publicola [Seattle Met].

However, Murray did not endorse Steinbrueck's anti-SoDo arena position. Murray spokesman Sandeep Kaushik says: "Ed remains supportive of the [memorandum of understanding] that the Council negotiated. But he agrees with Peter that regardless of what happens with the arena, we need to do more to preserve and build our manufacturing, maritime, and industrial base in the Duwamish area, Interbay, and Ballard."

Ed Murray refused to take on Peter Steinbrueck's position on the arena, that it is an either-or proposition, and took the position that both are possible, and with that position, the endorsement of Peter Steinbrueck.

Ballots are in the mail to Seattle residents today.