Meanwhile, political action committees are taking in cash contributions as they prepare to spend on the matchup between City Council President M. Lorena González and former Council President Bruce Harrell, who served at City Hall from 2008 through 2019.
The union that represents the city’s firefighters, IAFF Local 27, backed Harrell at a news conference Tuesday in the Pioneer Square neighborhood, where some residents and business owners have complained about a sometimes violent and chaotic street scene.
Local 27’s president, Kenny Stuart, praised Harrell’s “deep commitment to safe streets and neighborhoods,” including a campaign pledge to create more “safe harbors” where people can escape the street to recover from mental health and addiction crises. Firefighters and outreach workers need additional places to take people for long-term assistance, Stuart said.
Local 27’s endorsement is coveted because firefighters are mostly popular and because the union spends to ply voters with campaign mail.
González is also picking up boosters, dominating Harrell among the city’s Democratic Party organizations. She recently secured endorsements from the 11th, 32nd, 34th, 36th, 43rd and 46th legislative district organizations. There was a deadlock in the 37th.
The legislative district groups, run by extra-engaged Democrats, dispatch volunteers across voting precincts to spread the word about local races.
González is “proud to have the overwhelming support of Democratic organizations, labor unions, environmental groups … and reproductive-rights organizations,” campaign manager Alex Koren said, arguing such endorsements “make it clear which candidate aligns with Seattleites’ progressive values.”
PACs that operate independently from candidates spent nearly $1 million on Seattle’s primary races and will also spend in the general election, with large donations this month highlighting a political divide.
A PAC supporting González, called Essential Workers for Lorena, recently accepted $200,000 from the national hotel-workers union, $100,000 from the local supermarket-workers union and $75,000 from the state council for various service-workers unions.
A PAC supporting Harrell, called Bruce Harrell for Seattle’s Future, recently accepted $25,000 from real estate executive John Goodman, $20,000 from Zillow executive Lloyd Frink and $20,000 from Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal, among other contributions.
González championed a bill adopted by the council last year that banned “foreign-influenced corporations” from spending in Seattle elections, saying she believed the legislation would apply to international corporations like Amazon.