Why McGinn believes his message resonates with Seattle voters

KING 5's Natalie Brand interviews Seattle mayoral candidate Mike McGinn.

Mayor Ed Murray made it clear this week he doesn’t want to see his former political rival back in office.

“I don’t want to go back to the politics I faced in 2013,” said Murray during a news conference Thursday to endorse Jenny Durkan.

“I really do not want to see this city go back to the divisiveness that I inherited,” the Mayor continued without naming former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, who narrowly lost to Murray four years ago.

“Frankly, I've never seen the city more divided,” McGinn fired back Friday. “You know, I've been out on the campaign trail, and people feel like we're turning into San Francisco. They feel like the city is being run for the millionaires, and regular working people, middle class people, communities of color, immigrants and refugees are being forced out of town.”

McGinn believes his campaign this year is resonating with some of the same groups that elected him in 2009, when he was viewed as an "outsider.” McGinn says he was outspent in that race and behind in the polling, a reason he didn’t expect to lead the KING 5/KUOW poll out last week.

“The conventional wisdom in ‘09 was that I'd lose, and the conventional wisdom in ‘13 was I'd lose badly, yet both times I did pretty well. I think people are looking for somebody who isn't a conventional politician still, and I think that's been true of me,” McGinn said.

When asked about some of the challenges or regrets during his term as mayor, he responded candidly: “I think I came into office the first time maybe a little brash, maybe like I knew, like I thought I had all the answers. I think campaigns do that to people.”

This campaign year, McGinn doesn’t mind that he lags in endorsements or money with a little more than $30,000 in contributions, to date, according to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission website.

“I don't follow the conventional Democratic party playbook, nor do I follow the Chamber of Commerce playbook," he said. "Those are the candidates they like to support and where they'll put their money to.”

Instead, McGinn is banking on his message to win votes.

“We have to do something about affordability, and we have to get a handle on our budget and redirect it to our priorities with all this growth, and we have to hold the line on property and sales taxes," McGinn said. "We can't keep raising taxes on people to deal with the impacts of growth.”

An extended interview with McGinn includes his proposals to address affordable housing, homelessness, the city’s budget, and transit, as well as his reflections on his prior term in office. 

© 2017 KING-TV


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