Tim Burgess Shakes Up Mayoral Campaign; Fires Spokesman

Tim Burgess has fired his campaign spokesman Alex Fryer. This morning, the Seattle councilman and mayoral candidate told Seattle Weekly that he is restructuring his campaign.

Asked why he decided to part ways with Fryer, a former Seattle Times reporter and press secretary for ex-Mayor Greg Nickel, Burgess said, “I’m not going to get into that. Alex is a good man. It had nothing to do with his performance. It had everything to do with my campaign retooling.”

Fryer said this morning, “It came as a surprise. It had happened Tuesday at our regularly scheduled meeting.” Fryer declined to elaborate further -- at least, on the record.

As Burgess’ press person, Fryer earned $2,000 in April and has received nearly $10,000 in total since Burgess began his campaign late last year.

Though Burgess leads the seven-person field vying to unseat Mayor Mike McGinn in terms of fund-raising, having amassed more than $230,000, there is a feeling that his candidacy has not yet resonated with voters, that he’s performed poorly as candidate forums, and that a campaign makeover was in order.

Burgess was recently rebuffed by King County Democrats, whose endorsement committee, which represents all 17 legislative districts in the county, chose to take no position prior to the August 6 primary, but instead gave their tentative support to four candidates who they believe are either “viable” or “qualified” to lead the city of Seattle.

Those making the cut were McGinn, councilman Bruce Harrell, state Sen. Ed Murray, and former councilman Peter Steinbrueck. Burgess failed to make the list because it was thought by committee members that, as endorsement chair Michael Maddux put it, “he didn’t share our Democratic Party values.”

Still, Burgess has managed earlier this month to pick up a dual endorsement in the 36th Legislative District , along with Murray.

In other campaign news, at last night’s 46th District endorsement meeting tonight, Murray led slightly on the first ballot with 26 percent, and Steinbrueck at 25 percent. With other candidates (including McGinn) eliminated, Steinbrueck, competing in his home district, jumped into the lead on second ballot but fell short of the 60 percent needed to win the endorsement outright.

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