Seattle mayoral candidates woo undecided voters



Posted on October 29, 2009 at 6:06 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 29 at 9:35 PM

SEATTLE – With only five days until Election Day, there's a mad dash to woo undecided voters and beef up the war chests.

Candidates Joe Mallahan and Mike McGinn are pounding the pavement, trying to win the votes of the 19 percent of voters who say they're undecided.

A look at the updated campaign finance reports this week show Mallahan's biggest contributor is himself with $232,000 of his own money. McGinn loaned his own campaign $9,400.

"I contributed to my own campaign to take the mayor's war chest off the table back in the primary so we could focus on issues and focus on who was best suited to lead Seattle forward," said Mallahan.

"I think, to jump start his campaign, he had to give himself a big donation to be taken seriously," said McGinn.
Besides himself, most of Mallahan's contributions came from large donations. Most of McGinn's contributions came from small donations.

McGinn calls his campaign "grass roots" with an army of volunteers and no paid staffers. Mallahan says 30 volunteers a day make calls for him, with five paid people on staff.

"He speaks through a spokesperson. He's held one 9 minute press conference. He hasn't done all these town halls. I don't think he's been as open to the public and just out in the community the same way we've been," said McGinn.

"Ours is a people's campaign, as well. It's managed professionally, but it's a people's campaign," said Mallahan.

Mallahan has raised more than $600,000 compared to a third of that by McGinn.

Mallahan had a cold this week and had to sit out two of his scheduled neighborhood tours. McGinn plans on more neighborhood town hall meetings.