Mallahan concedes defeat while campaign spokeswoman Charla Neuman looks at her BlackBerry
  • Mallahan concedes defeat while campaign spokeswoman Charla Neuman looks at her BlackBerry

In his mayoral campaign offices on Eastlake Avenue East, Joe Mallahan told a roomful of reporters, "I want to begin by congratulating Mike McGinn on his success. Mike and his team ran a very hard-fought campaign. They should be proud. I wish Mike well as our next mayor."

Mallahan, who had more than three times the money as McGinn and major institutional backing, blames his loss on McGinn's message and “his persistence in staying on message in every neighborhood,” Mallahan said. "He was the superior campaigner this time around."

Asked if he would do anything differently, Mallahan said no, adding, "Mike ran a great campaign too and he beat us." The former T-Mobile executive said, "I'm going to go back to work for the phone company.”

"If I have one regret it is that people came to think of me as a businessman when I am a social justice Democrat with business credentials," said Mallahan, whose campaign ads repeatedly cited his tenure at T-Mobile.

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After most reporters left the room, campaign manager Charla Neuman said she thinks Mallahan was "branded as a well-to-do businessman." She added that many voters shared an anti-Nickels sentiment and Mallahnan was branded as a Nickels proxy. She also said voters were looking for change, following Obama's presidential election.

Neuman said that McGinn softening his opposition to the tunnel may have also assisted his victory. "At first I thought Merry Christmas to us," Neuman said. "But then after thinking about it I thought, 'Oh, no. This could really work against us.'"