With just weeks before ballots are sent out, Seattle’s mayoral candidates are on a final sprint to win over voters, wherever they can.
On Wednesday, Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon spoke to a lunchtime crowd of more than 200 people at the Rotary Club of Seattle, one appearance in a jam-packed calendar of forums and events this week.
“We are not living up to our potential and the biggest reason why, to me, is we don’t have a constructive future vision and a clear transparent action oriented action plan to get to that vision,” said candidate Cary Moon, whose background is urban planning.
“This election is not about who will be mayor for four years,” said candidate Jenny Durkan, a former U.S. Attorney for the district of Western Washington. “We’ve seen mayors come and go pretty quickly lately. It’s about what’s that city we want for the future. What are we leaving for the next generation?”
With the race down to two candidates, they’re now trying to differentiate themselves across issues, backgrounds and styles.
“I commit to professional leadership in the mayor’s office and a clear transparent vision and action plan for what we’re working on and then empowering departmental leaders to do their jobs, especially in the delivery of public services,” Moon said in response to a management question.
“Bureaucracies will slow roll you every time. As mayor, you have to not only be able to know where all the levers are, you have to know who has the hands on the lever and how to move it forward. I think I know how to do that,” said Durkan.
“I haven’t made up my mind yet,” admitted Kim Moore, following the Rotary lunch.
“I think the candidates both exhibit a lot of qualities I like. I want someone who is smart, who listens, who does research and who’s really engaged in helping us make this an even greater place to live,” Moore continued.
For others in the room of Rotarians, one word summed up the top trait they’re looking for, ahead of election day.
“Serious leadership,” said Nancy Osborne. “Working together; bringing our city together.”
“We’ve been having a really rough time the last year, plus not getting solid leadership,” said Melody McCutcheon. “I’m looking for whoever is going to hit the ground running and be a solid leader from day one.
“I’d like to see someone who has the strength of leadership to stand up and deal with tough decisions and not just talk about problems and kick them down the road,” said Trent Mummery.
Members of the audience asked the candidates about their experience in managing people and budgets, as well as their response to the recent announcement that Amazon is looking for a second headquarters, outside of Seattle.
Here are the candidates in their own words: