Both Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and State Senator Ed Murray say they will work to raise the minimum wage in Seattle if elected mayor.
At the annual Martin Luther King County Labor Day picnic, the two candidates mingled with union workers.
I think we have to look at who we want to raise it on. A lot of small businesses couldn't afford to have a high minimum wage. said Murray.
The last thing we want is a business, labor, war in this city. I think we can avoid that. I think we can do this constructively and over time.
McGinn said he'll work with business and labor on the issue.
I support increasing the minimum wage, but I think we have to make a good faith effort at the state and federal level before we look at the city. We'll take a serious look at the local level if we can't get traction at other levels, said McGinn.
Both candidates get top billing from the King County Labor Council.
There's strong support on both sides so I think it's going to a tough call to see whose going to get the most labor support. said David Freiboth, Executive Secretary of the council.
Washington state has the highest minimum wage in the country at $9.19 an hour.
It will go up on January 1 because it is linked to the consumer price index.