Peter Steinbrueck is done playing Hamlet. This morning, at a packed coffee house in Maple Leaf, he exclaimed, “Today, I will wear Ed Murray’s pin for mayor.”
Since finishing third in the August primary, Steinbrueck said he’s spent a good deal of time reflecting on what to do next, ruminating on whether to remain on the sidelines, a neutral observer, content to return to his job as an urban strategy consultant, or take a active role in determining who will be the city’s next mayor.
The former Seattle councilman said he’s been doing his due diligence over the past two months, attending campaign forums and debates, studying policy positions of his former rivals, and meeting with each of them at various coffee shops around town. Mayor Mike McGinn and Murray both worked hard to get Steinbrueck in their corner.
In the end, Steinbrueck said, it was a conversation he had last week with his 82-year-old mom that put him over the top. “And I asked her, ‘What do I do know now?’ And she said,” Steinbrueck recounted, displaying his best old-mom dialect, ‘That’s easy, support Ed! What are you waiting for!’”
Cheers rose from the crowd of Murray supporters gathered at Cloud Coffee, the place, Steinbrueck noted, that he’s been going to regularly since it more than a decade ago.
Standing beside the beaming state senator, who has now completed the trinity of corraling endorsements of his three most formidable challengers, which include Tim Burgess and Bruce Harrell, Steinbrueck said it was Murray’s position on several cardinal issues that persuaded him to lend him his support.
Murray’s commitment to gender equality, working toward revitalizing the city’s maritime industry, and his deep understanding of Seattle’s 38 neighborhoods and the importance of fully implementing the city’s comprehensive plan – which, of course, was Steinbrueck’s calling card – were all key factors in making his decisio to endorse the 18-year state lawmaker.
“I know the Seattle Process is a challenge, but lack of process is even more challenging,” Steinbrueck said, a direct jab at McGinn, as he believes the mayor has allowed the neighborhoods to “atrophy.”
Murray was profuse in thanking Steinbrueck for his help going forward in the campaign, now in its final 19 days. “It is great to have Peter as part of my team,” he said.
In a brief interview with Seattle Weekly, Murray said he has had no discussions with Steinbrueck about a possible post in his administration, if he wins on Nov. 5.
“We have spent the last two months going over policy positions,” Murray said. “He’s been a big help to me, especially on zoning issues. I hope he will be an adviser, and I will asked him to part of the transition team.”