Friends, Breakfast, and the Mayor's Race

OMG, you'll never guess who sat next to Richard Conlin!

People might be willing to put off pontoon maintenance on their bridges with Mayor Greg Nickels, but they aren't about to burn them. The incumbent's $75-a-plate breakfast fundraiser at the Westin Monday was a reminder of just how powerful he really is. King County Executive candidates Larry Phillips and Dow Constantine both took their seats as former mayor Charles Royer prepared to introduce Nickels. Jan Drago, running to unseat Nickels, attended a fundraiser for Phillips last week as an official endorser. At one point during the evening, she unabashedly let loose with a "Woo!" But Phillips didn't show the same enthusiasm for Drago's campaign. He remained noncommittal, saying: "I'm not endorsing in [the mayoral] race; they're both longtime friends." Martin Kaplan was one of the city council hopefuls to put in an appearance. He sat at a table with the sitting city council president, Richard Conlin. But perhaps the most surprising attendee of the 450 estimated to have attended was the woman sitting to Conlin's left: Sally Bagshaw. She says she's known the mayor for a long timeā€”but she's also Drago's hand-picked successor to the City Council. "Let's just quietly say that I was invited and I went," Bagshaw says of the Nickels breakfast. "Candidates often attend other candidates' events. It's good exposure, and and they are usually recognized," explains Drago. "Of course, some people in general are afraid to cross [Nickels]." But suffice it to say that if even Bagshaw's hesitant to campaign actively against Nickels, Drago and her fellow challengers are facing an uphill battle with an impressively steep grade.

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