In Tuesday night’s debate, Seattle mayoral candidate Cary Moon said she would like to hire former rival Jessyn Farrell. Her opponent, Jenny Durkan, said she’d hire Moon.
Remember Seattle’s mayoral primary, back when there were 21 candidates?
Moon praised Jessyn Farrell, Nikkita Oliver and others during a debate hosted by KING-TV, while Durkan name-checked Bob Hasegawa, Oliver, Farrell — and Moon.
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“One of you will be in the mayor’s office at an accelerated timeline,” a moderator said, referring to the next mayor taking over in November, as soon as the election results are certified. “If you could pick two (candidates who didn’t advance past the primary), who would you offer a job in your administration and in what positions?”
Moon said she would ask Farrell, a former state representative, “to be in some kind of intergovernmental relations” role, calling her “very, very skilled at Olympia.”
She said she would tap Oliver, “if she’d be willing … either high up in the mayor’s office or maybe working in civil rights, because we need to do a much better job in our city of sharing power and building a more inclusive city government, and she raised these issues in her campaign.”
Durkan started with, “I’m not going to say which of them, because I think all of them have benefits and strengths and I haven’t had the chance to talk — whether they’d be interested or not.”
But the former U.S. attorney then mentioned Hasegawa, a state senator and labor leader who campaigned in the primary on the idea of starting a city bank.
“I would want to bring Bob in in some capacity, both as an adviser and also to talk about how do we get economic development,” Durkan said, adding, “I want to bring Nikkita Oliver in. I want to bring Jessyn Farrell.”
Then she brought up a pair of U.S. presidents.
“It’s kind of like Lincoln. He had to have the whole sense of, you know, bring your rivals in. And we saw that with President Obama. So I would hire Cary Moon, you know,” Durkan said.
“I think that she’s got some great ideas. I think I’m going to make the better mayor, but I think she’s got some great ideas, so I’m not going to limit it to just two. If I can bring ’em all, I’m going to bring ’em all.”
Some in the audience laughed when the moderator asked Moon whether she’d accept a job under Durkan.
“I don’t think so,” the former engineer and urban designer said. “There’s too much difference in really what future city we’re aiming for and how we intend to get there and how we govern, and I don’t think we’d be a good fit.”
Asked about a business tax proposed by two City Council members earlier this month, both Moon and Durkan expressed reservations.
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To help pay for shelters and housing, Councilmembers Mike O’Brien and Kirsten Harris-Talley want to apply a tax of 5 cents per employee per hour on businesses with annual gross receipts of $5 million or more.
Moon said she supports taxing big businesses more but believes the O’Brien and Harris-Talley proposal would affect too many small businesses. Durkan also said the proposal would hurt small businesses. She expressed no support for a new business tax.