Clint Didier, the Tea Partyer and former NFL tight end from Eastern Washington, says he will make a run for Senator Patty Murray's seat this fall even if, as seems inevitable, Republican Dino Rossi jumps into the race.
In a statement released on May 3, Didier said: "Yes, Dino is a choice. But I don't believe he's the right choice for Republicans, or that he can win." Which is great news for Murray. With Didier in for the long haul—along with state senator Don Benton (R-Vancouver) and Republican businessman Paul Akers—there will be plenty of Republican versus Republican primary action, which can only add to the hits that Rossi's already taking from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (which this week pushed opposition research into the mainstream media showing that the real estate firm Rossi works for owes $20,000 in property taxes in Snohomish County).
If Rossi hoped the Republican runway would be cleared for his big last-minute arrival in the race—well, it's not going to be quite the landing he expected. ELI SANDERS
On May 3, the Seattle City Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution that would open the door to extend the future First Hill streetcar about two-thirds of a mile north on Broadway, all way up to East Aloha Street. Under the measure, the city will be asking Sound Transit, a regional transit agency, for $750,000 already allocated for streetcar funding to study the extension (the existing streetcar money, approved with light rail in 2008, set the terminus at East Denny Way).
"You've got a lot of people in the Broadway corridor, and now that zoning is increasing," says Bill LaBorde, policy director of Transportation Choices Coalition. "You should have a lot more ridership potential by going all the way to the north end and serving the business district."
But the Sound Transit board may scotch those plans. Although voters funded $132 million for the First Hill streetcar—which will connect the International District to Capitol Hill—and the streetcar line came in $6 million under budget, there may still not be enough dough for the study. Sound Transit is estimating a multimillion-dollar shortfall in sales-tax revenue for the larger light-rail project, and the board may block funding to study an extension.
However, Alex Broner, a spokesman for the Capitol Hill Community Council's streetcar campaign, says his group is ready to apply pressure. "We have been lobbying for this for the last four months, and we definitely will be in communication with the Sound Transit board regarding this," Broner says. DOMINIC HOLDEN