Greg Smith, the downtown developer who was thinking about running for mayor, just confirmed that he is not running against Mayor Greg Nickels, who's seeking his third term this year.
Smith says the real-estate market is in terrible shape, and "it just wouldn't be right to my [business] partners. I have business interests that I just can't turn my back on." Smith owns several commercial buildings downtown and near the stadiums; a planned downtown hotel project, the Candela Hotel and Residences, recently fell through. "It's a hard decision for me, because I really wanted to [run]," Smith says. "I'm bummed."
I'm bummed too. Although Smith would have certainly faced an uphill battle defining himself against Nickels (while the current mayor is widely disliked, it was hard to see how a developer could have won over environmentalists or neighborhood activists or pro-development folks, who already support Nickels) he's charismatic, funny, extroverted, and comfortable in his skin in a way Nickels is not.
Other potential candidates for mayor include City Council member Nick Licata, former council member Peter Steinbrueck, and Seattle Great City Initiative founder Mike McGinn.