Election '09: Inside the mayoral campaign parties

Two Crosscut writers, having declared their political druthers, report from last night's events.
Crosscut archive image.

Mike McGinn talks with reporters on Election Night

Two Crosscut writers, having declared their political druthers, report from last night's events.

Among the Crosscut contributors working the Election Night parties were several who have declared their support for a particular candidate or spent time volunteering for a campaign.

With that disclosure, here is a report from inside mayoral candidate Joe Mallahan's gathering, by Crosscut's Judy Lightfoot, and a photo, at right, of Mike McGinn being interviewed by reporters, taken by Crosscut's Matt Fikse.

From Lightfoot:

At the Mallahan party, network newshounds are struggling to deal with a mail-in-ballot election's dearth of TV-worthy hoopla. The narrative that TV reporters seem to have anxiously cobbled together for tonight is that there's no narrative tonight, so they prompt guest after guest to talk about how little there is to talk about. "Say something about when we voted at the polls in the morning and got results that night. Wasn't it better? Don't you want to go back to the good old days, when an election was exciting? When there was a narrative? There's no narrative tonight, is there! Is there?"

At 8:15 p.m., when 25 percent of the ballots had been counted, McGinn was 910 votes ahead. At that point Mallahan arrived to thank his supporters and saw the crowd crammed into a space far too small for it. "Boy, we spared no expense on the room, huh?" he laughed. Then: "We're down by 1 percent. It's a Seattle tradition — we never have blowout elections. Final results won't be in for several days, but I want a planeload of you down in Miami to do the recount."

Mallahan asked the crowd for a moment of silent prayer for slain police officer Timothy Brenton. Then he offered his own prayer for Brenton, his family, his fellow officers, and the people of Seattle, concluding, "Amen. Let the church say amen!" "Amen!" echoed the crowd. Dawn Mason, one of Mallahan's most ardent supporters, shouted, "He's been in the black community's churches, can you tell?"


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