Slog

Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels to Run for Secretary of State (and Lose)

Posted by on Thu, Feb 23, 2012 at 10:39 AM

I'd been hearing this rumor for weeks, and thought too highly of him to believe it, but we just got a press release announcing that former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels will run for Secretary of State.

“We need a Secretary of State not only working with counties to improve election oversight and participation, but a strong voice for transparency on how campaigns are financed, and keeping the voice of citizens in the initiative process,” said Nickels.

Oy.

First of all, Washington Secretary of State is the race where Democrats go to die, having last claimed the office sometime in the late 1400s. Second, to my recollection, no Seattle mayor has ever gone on to win any statewide race ever. The rest of the state hates us. Third, the last time Nickels ran for office—in Seattle—he came in third, behind Joe Mallahan and Mike McGinn, for chrisakes. Joe Mallahan and Mike McGinn!

Wait, I haven't run out of numbers yet.

Fourth, while I like Nickels, and voted for him in the primary, and I don't doubt he'd do a decent job as SoS, he has no particular qualifications for an office that's largely concerned with running elections. Of course, neither do either of the other Democrats running, but then they're not former Seattle mayors, so they don't automatically generate the suspicion throughout the rest of the state that their candidacies are part of a Seattle conspiracy to steal future elections.

And fifth, this is an office that has been dominated by former county auditors, like current Secretary Sam Reed and his hand-picked successor, Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman. So I can't help but believe that a Nickels-Wyman race would just hand the office over to the Republicans in a landslide. Again. And that's a sad way for Nickels to put the final nail in his political career.

 

Comments (31) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Will in Seattle 1
You know, if you all caucus for the most extreme R on March 3rd, he might win.

It's all about the snow - ignore the whining of the tax-subsidized suburbanites about parking, that's why Greg lost.

Greg is smart to move from a city race to a larger race, and timing is hard to figure - but he knows how to get people to vote.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on February 23, 2012 at 11:00 AM · Report this
Fnarf 2
@1, "larger race"? There is nothing remotely large about the Secretary of State job, even if you put it on the windowsill and look at it from underneath real close. The only less significant jobs in the state are lieutenant governor and Mayor of Pomeroy.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on February 23, 2012 at 11:04 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 3
@2 (counting votes) ... riiiiiiiiiiighhhhht ....

God, you're thick.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on February 23, 2012 at 11:06 AM · Report this
4

Now the whole state can get stuck in a blizzard.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on February 23, 2012 at 11:25 AM · Report this
roddy 5
Ralph Munro held the Office for 20 years, and before he was elected he wasn't a county auditor, and had no particular previous experience running elections. Yet, his legacy is one of small 'd' democratic participation, Motor Voter, clean elections. Greg Nickels, has quite a bit more experience in many of the same areas than Munro had when he was elected, plus he has a great profile as an ambassador for the region for trade--an part of the job description that Munro left as a legacy. Also, Munro is a save-the-whales, pro-choice Republican, making him something of a centrist. But as Nickels' detractors at the Stranger made clear, the former mayor is more centrist than they would have liked, too. This state likes to have centrist Sec. of States, and in many ways Nickels fits the profile.

http://sos.wa.gov/legacyproject/HistoryM…
Posted by roddy http://www.washingtonunited.org on February 23, 2012 at 11:38 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 7
@4 for the Snow Business Like No Business Win.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on February 23, 2012 at 11:41 AM · Report this
Goldy 8
@5, I doubt the rest of the state could be convinced that Nickels is a "centrist."
Posted by Goldy on February 23, 2012 at 11:42 AM · Report this
9
@2,

You might tell Dino Rossi that.
Posted by Mr. X on February 23, 2012 at 11:43 AM · Report this
Fnarf 10
@9, Rossi got beat by the voters, not the (Republican) Secretary of State.

@3, I know you are but what am I?
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on February 23, 2012 at 11:50 AM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 11
What I can't figure out is why he wants the job of Secretary of State to begin with. It is one of the least glamorous state elected jobs out there. If he were to win, he couldn't really use it as a stepping stone to other state-wide races. I'm baffled. Why?
Posted by Reverse Polarity on February 23, 2012 at 11:59 AM · Report this
12
To Roddy -

I think you bring up some good points, but I'd argue that Sam Reed is that same kind of Republican you describe Ralph Munro to be and both of them have endorsed Kim Wyman, so I'll admit, I'm supporting her because in addition to those endorsements, as a County Auditor, I think she's best qualified to do the job.
Posted by goatgirl on February 23, 2012 at 12:03 PM · Report this
13
To Roddy -

I think you bring up some good points, but I'd argue that Sam Reed is that same kind of Republican you describe Ralph Munro to be and both of them have endorsed Kim Wyman, so I'll admit, I'm supporting her because in addition to those endorsements, as a County Auditor, I think she's best qualified to do the job.
Posted by goatgirl on February 23, 2012 at 12:09 PM · Report this
14
@11, I figure he wants to stay busy is all. After we booted him he did some stuff at the UN but nothing much else. I think he probably knows what the day to day of the job entails and figures he can do it. And McGinn's track record will have got statewide voters seeing Nickels as more centrist than they might have before. If he loses I don't think he'll mind very much, but I'm sure he'll enjoy running.
Posted by gloomy gus on February 23, 2012 at 12:10 PM · Report this
15
@10,

Right - and the Secretary of State keeping it fair had absolutely nothing to do with the outcome.

See: Blackwell, Kenneth.
Posted by Mr. X on February 23, 2012 at 12:20 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 16
@14 maybe, but it's a stepping stone to other things down the pike, and a way to leapfrog to a county or national stage, if you think about it.

But, yes, outside of Seattle, the suburbanites perpetuate the lie that Greg is more centrist than our centrist Mayor currently is.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on February 23, 2012 at 12:23 PM · Report this
Fnarf 18
@16, how would you know what it's like to think about it?

Secretary of State is not a way to "leapfrog" to anything at all. Go on, gimme a list of former SoSes who've gone on to a "national stage". Tell you what -- any state. Gimme a list. Gimme a list of ONE.

Also, you are confused if you think the "county stage" is a step up from a state job. Of course, you're confused about everything, so it's no surprise. Do you ever get tired of talking to people's knees?
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on February 23, 2012 at 12:48 PM · Report this
Matt Hickey 19
Sixth: There's really nothing wrong with Sam Reed. He's been a good SoS. He's not given in to Teabagger nonsense and he's always been fair. In 2004, he could have helped swing the election to Rossi, but instead of playing normal GOP games, he did his job. Reed is one of the only Republicans I've ever voted for, and I plan on voting for him again.
Posted by Matt Hickey http://www.matthickey.com on February 23, 2012 at 1:43 PM · Report this
20
Sixth, Nickels retains a reputation as a political bully - an intimidator. Not the profile of Washington voters' typical Sec. of State.
Posted by RonK, Seattle on February 23, 2012 at 1:45 PM · Report this
DOUG. 21
@19: Sam Reed retired. Greg Nickels should do the same.
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on February 23, 2012 at 1:52 PM · Report this
DOUG. 22
@1: Have fun at the March 3rd Secretary of State caucus.
Posted by DOUG. http://www.dougsvotersguide.com on February 23, 2012 at 1:57 PM · Report this
Geni 23
@16 - Why would Greg Nickels need a "stepping stone" to a county race? He's already served 4 terms on King County Council, for crissakes, one of the highest-paid elective jobs in the state.
Posted by Geni on February 23, 2012 at 2:10 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 24
prior to the new b-ball arena announcement, i'd have told greg just to run for mayor again.
Posted by Max Solomon on February 23, 2012 at 2:29 PM · Report this
Fnarf 25
@23, Will has no recollection of anything that happened more than eight years ago, or less than five.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on February 23, 2012 at 2:53 PM · Report this
Looking For a Better Read 26
I was going to post something about this being a topic that no one but Goldy thought much about, but then I find 25 comments* so what the hell do I know?

*Granted, some of the commentators - 1, 3, 7, 16 - apparently didn't really think much about it either.
Posted by Looking For a Better Read on February 23, 2012 at 3:05 PM · Report this
27
@18:
Secretary of State is not a way to "leapfrog" to anything at all. Go on, gimme a list of former SoSes who've gone on to a "national stage". Tell you what -- any state. Gimme a list. Gimme a list of ONE.


From a rapid perusal of Wikipedia...

Jerry Brown
Ella Grasso
Max Cleland
Evan Bayh
Roy Blunt
Mario Cuomo
Sherrod Brown
Mark Hatfield
Stephen F. Austin
Jay Rockefeller

Some states didn't have readily available lists.
Posted by N in Seattle http://peacetreefarm.org on February 23, 2012 at 4:36 PM · Report this
28
@27, I think the challenge was more than a bit, "Will, I dare you to ever research any fact ever". That said, all but two of your examples were in their thirties when elected. Greg Nickels is 57.

The two oldest in your list were Cuomo and Austin at 43. FWIW, Austin died two months into his term, so less a stepping stone for him than a gravestone. Ba-dum bum.
Posted by gloomy gus on February 23, 2012 at 5:26 PM · Report this
TheRain 29
Kim Wyman has done pretty good work as Thurston County Auditor, and I figure a Republican who can get the nod from Thurston County can't be too nuts.
Posted by TheRain on February 23, 2012 at 10:27 PM · Report this
Fnarf 30
@27, I'll admit, I'm shocked that there are so many good names on there -- names better than Greg Nickels, for sure. Mario Cuomo, Jerry Brown -- significant figures. I was wrong.

But look at the vast majority of them: great names like Basil Paterson, Bill Jones, Lud Kramer, Elton Bomer. There are thousands of names, with a few big ones. As Gus points out, it's something you do early in your career, if you're planning to have one, not late.

And you neglected to mention George Ryan of Illinois, who should be released from prison next year!

Different states are different. Washington is not New York or California. Washington SoSes are sinecures, offices where public servants who can't get elected to anything further go to finish out their careers, usually after losses for congressional seats. Several of them have died in office; the only one who has ever gone on to another job, let alone an interesting one, is Bruce Chapman, who runs the Discovery Institute. Blech! And who can forget the immortal Ithamar Howell, or Jay Hinckle, or Bella Reeves?

Nickels is a good guy, and was a good mayor -- much better than people give him credit for. It's sad to see him settle for a dead-end post like this.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on February 23, 2012 at 11:06 PM · Report this
31
I think we need to elect Kathleen Drew to this post. She's passionate about the job and wildly exceeds qualification by experience.

PLUS - SHE IS THE ONLY WOMAN IN a STATEWIDE NON FEDERAL RACE in
2012!

An amazing candidate - check her out: www.kathleendrew2012.com.

Here's her bio:

Known for being impartial and fair, she authored the State’s Ethics in Public Service Law, which has governed actions of state employees and elected officials for nearly 20 years. In every arena she has worked, Kathleen’s groundbreaking achievements have been models for other states and communities.

Kathleen is known for streamlining government, reducing duplication and improving services to Washington residents.

She values life-long learning and helped build the University of Washington Bothell campus into the vital institution it is today – the largest branch campus in the state. She also secured funding to start it’s Computing and Software Systems program.

Kathleen helped create incentives for electric cars and infrastructure. She worked to reduce energy and resource use by state agencies. Kathleen Drew started the first program to mark hatchery salmon to ensure recreational fishing opportunities. Kathleen worked with three west coast Governors to develop and implement a national model agreement on ocean health.

As a volunteer, Kathleen Drew raised funds to build transitional homes for foster youth, led a citizen’s effort to identify what schools were needed for a rapidly growing Issaquah School District, and as a member of Kiwanis, started a capitol campus organic vegetable garden for the hungry. This year the garden produced over 10,000 pounds of produce for the Thurston County Food Bank.
Kathleen and her husband Steven Drew, Thurston County Assessor, have been married for 27 years.
More...
Posted by T Pitchford on February 24, 2012 at 11:02 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 32
@23 @25 not as Exec. The Mayoral baggage makes that a hard transition, as the rest of the County hates Seattle and our lack of tax subsidized lifestyle that they have.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on February 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 33
@27 for the God you Noobz think everything is on Wiki instead of the Lies that exist there win ...
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on February 24, 2012 at 12:15 PM · Report this

Add a comment

Commenting on this item is available only to registered commenters.
Advertisement

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy