"We need rain, I delivered," City Attorney Mark Sidran quipped as he declared for mayor in an icy downpour. Sidran, Seattle's own Rudy Guiliani, made it clear this week why he is so formidable. Not only does he boast a 12-year tenure as the city's top prosecutor, he also radiates confidence, charisma, and humor on the stump.
Sidran was forthright about his most controversial stands, such as the civility laws that target sitting on the sidewalk, aggressive panhandling, and people driving with suspended licenses or his crackdown on "nightclub violence." He launched strong, smart, and nuanced attacks on his chief opponents, Mayor Paul Schell and King County Councilman Greg Nickels. In all, Sidran showed that he is a helluva of a candidate. Why then does his campaign seem so flat-footed?
He has raised $675 as opposed to Nickels' $100,000. His few endorsements come from local power lawyers. And he doesn't have a major political consultant on board. John Arthur Wilson, County Exec Ron Sims' former chief of staff and currently with Pacific Public Affairs, is volunteering for the campaign now and could become the campaign's heavyweight, but why isn't he signed up already? Sidran hasn't had to run a serious contest for 12 years; we'll see if his campaigning instincts are as sharp as his courtroom chops.