Campaign events are starting to happen on a near-nightly basis, and it's already getting tough to keep up with all of them. Just yesterday, in addition to Jan Drago's mayoral announcement at the Seattle Art Museum, Position 4 candidate Sally Bagshaw, running for the seat Drago is vacating, had her kickoff at FareStart restaurant downtown; simultaneously, Jessie Israel, running against Position 6 incumbent Nick Licata, had her own event at Spitfire Grill in Belltown. (Although this evening seems to provide a reprieve—candidates, let me know if I'm wrong—tomorrow the events start right back up again, with two kickoffs: Position 4 candidate David Bloom at the Swedish Cultural Center, and Position 8 candidate Jordan Royer at Slim's Last Chance Chili Shack in Georgetown, both at 5:30.
I missed Bagshaw's kickoff last night (I'm told that KC Prosecutor Dan Satterberg's band, The Approximations, played) but I did make it to Israel's—a sparsely attended event that was apparently overshadowed by Bagshaw's rockin' party down the street. (A small crowd, including freshman state representatives Scott White (D-46) and Reuven Carlyle (D-36), eventually poured into the back room of the Spitfire at the end of Israel's event.) In some ways, the party reminded me of the 2007 kickoff for Jean Godden opponent Lauren Briel, who lost to Godden and Joe Szwaja in that year's primary: About 25 enthusiastic people in their 20s and 30s; a young female candidate challenging an (in this case entrenched) incumbent; a promise of new vision and a new perspective for a council perceived as stagnant and unable to take on the mayor.
Israel's pitch against Licata—"What has he done on the council?" she demanded repeatedly yesterday—is interesting (in the past, candidates have been reluctant to take Licata on directly), but I'm not sure it's going to prove compelling in a city where people love love love Licata, even when they disagree with him. Licata is the council's quixotic voice on renters' rights, developer giveaways, the Sonics, and police accountability, among many other issues. He may be known as the guy who holds up the losing end of 8-1 votes, but I think there are still many, many people out there who want that minority position to be represented, even when they don't agree with it. Election results back this up. In his last two elections—when voters also approved City Attorney Tom Carr and relatively conservative council members Jan Drago and Richard McIver—Licata won by 78% and 77%, respectively. Those have got to be daunting numbers for any opponent to contemplate.
In other news from the main room of Spitfire (which is, after all, a sports bar), the Orlando Magic's Dwight Howard scored ten points in overtime to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in last night's playoff game—even LeBron James, whose attempted 3-pointer fell short with 3.2 seconds to go, couldn't turn the 116-114 game around. The Magic goes into Game 5 with a 3-1 lead over the Cavs. According to history, teams with a 3-1 lead are 182-8 in playoff series dating back to 1947.