CITY COUNCIL MEMBER JUDY NICASTRO will announce today that she is not running for mayor this year.
"I've decided not to run for mayor at this time. I was elected [in 1999] to legislate for the people and I want to fulfill that promise," the first-term council member said last week. "I really enjoy legislating, and I have had some wonderful victories. I want to continue, and to better peoples' lives in Seattle."
Nicastro did say that she would run for re-election to the city council in 2003, and that she has not made any political plans beyond that. Her announcement today will come at a party meant, in part, to raise funds for that re-election bid. Renters rights advocate Nicastro won election to council by a narrow margin in 1999, stopping a comeback bid by former City Council member Cheryl Chow.
As she would have been the only woman and the only progressive in a prospective four-way mayoral race, Nicastro says she was besieged with letters and e-mails urging her to run—despite the late start it would have entailed. "I actually feel that I had a good chance," she says. "I didn't feel like it was that crazy of a long shot."
The primary beneficiary of Nicastro's decision is likely to be King County Council member Greg Nickels, who is already emphasizing liberal and populist themes in his campaign to position himself against the more conservative Paul Schell and Mark Sidran. Nicastro, however, isn't taking sides; when asked which candidate she would endorse in the mayoral campaign, she replied, "At this point, no one."