The race for Seattle mayor is heating up this week, two months from the August primary.
Candidate Jessyn Farrell announced on Tuesday that she’s resigning from her seat in the state House of Representatives to focus full time on the mayoral campaign.
The move also kicks her out of the fundraising freeze she was under as a state lawmaker.
“I need to be able to take my message out to the people,” she said during a news conference attended by several elected officials who have endorsed her, including Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib, Seattle Councilmember Rob Johnson, and several fellow state representatives.
Farrell called herself a progressive with a track record that she’s ready to bring to city hall.
“We are facing a deep affordability crisis," Farrell said. "We are facing homelessness. We are facing a transportation system that makes it so difficult to get to your job or your doctor’s appointment.”
My thoughts on the homelessness data released today: “Three immediate steps to address homelessness in Seattle.” https://t.co/ACqh1iRc0T— Jenny Durkan (@JennyDurkan) May 31, 2017
Hot button issues that mayoral candidates will spend the next two months talking about, as it becomes a battle for votes and endorsements ahead of August 1, the date when ballots are due.
Farrell this week announced an endorsement by the Sheet Metal Workers Local 66.
Mayor Ed Murray, who dropped out of the race earlier this month, had secured a long list of labor group endorsements that remain up for grabs.
Just Tuesday, former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan secured the support of the well funded Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee, CASE.
“I will fight for every endorsement in every corner of this city,” Durkan said.
Her campaign reports raising more than $150,000, just a couple of weeks after announcing. She’s also accrued big name establishment support including former Governor Chris Gregoire and current Seattle councilmembers Tim Burgess and Sally Bagshaw.
However, in terms of name ID and campaigning, Durkan says she doesn’t consider herself “the establishment candidate, but rather the underdog.”
“I'm running against one person who successfully ran for mayor, and even when he lost got 47 percent of the vote, two people who are elected officials and have had that apparatus, another person who's been running as part of a social movement for a period of time,” Durkan said.
Durkan referenced attorney and organizer Nikkita Oliver, one of the first candidates to enter the mayoral race, State Sen. Bob Hasegawa, a longtime lawmaker, and former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn who lost in 2013 to Murray.
“I never assume people know who I am or what work I’ve done. Every day you have to prove that you care, that’s your job, and that’s your job running for the office, and more importantly that’s your job when you’re mayor,” said Durkan.
Twenty-one candidates have filed in the race. Six of them are running, active, visible campaigns, including Durkan, Farrell, Hasegawa, McGinn, Oliver, and urban planner Cary Moon.
Topics covered in extended interview with Jenny Durkan:
Homelessness and creating more shelter beds
Does more money need to be spent to solve the homelessness crisis?
Her position on homeless camp sweeps
Where does Durkan stand on the proposed city income tax on high earners?
What will solve the affordable housing crisis in the city?
What will her campaign strategy look like in the weeks ahead?
Topics covered in Jessyn Farrell Q & A following news conference
Homelessness and housing affordability
Where does she fit into the pool of candidates
Transportation relief and a proposal to fast track light rail to Ballard and West Seattle