Seattle mayoral candidates answer questions at public debates

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by KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on July 16, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 16 at 11:13 PM

Candidates for Seattle mayor answered questions at a public debate at the downtown Seattle Public Library Tuesday.

Things got underway at 5:30 p.m. with five of the nine candidates in the race present. The debate was sponsored by the Seattle City Club and moderated by our news partners The Seattle Times.

The forum was a chance for the public to get a feel for where the candidates stand on a host of issues. Some of the main topics included police reform and transportation.

As for the format of the debate, it was unique in that citizens helped set the agenda. Also, the audience could hold up signs if they wanted to hear more from a certain candidate on a specific topic.

One hot-button issue: accountability at the Seattle Police Department.

"I'm not new to this issue of accountability," said candidate Bruce Harrell.  "Where I grew up in this city in the sixties, we called it police brutality."

Senator Ed Murray, another candidate, said it's going to take a new mayor to turn the police department around and repair public trust.

Mayor Mike McGinn defended himself.

"Let's be really clear, these are institutional practices that have been swept under the rug for decades, he said.  "And under this administration, we confronted them."

After that more traditional debate came to a close, six of the nine candidates running for mayor went to the Showbox Theatre on First Avenue.

There, they took part in a "Candidate Survivor" competition, during which the audience eliminated a candidate during each round.

In addition to a talent show, the candidates were asked some very unusual questions.  Among them, 'have you ever smoked marijuana' and 'have you ever skinny dipped in Lake Washington."

Candidates Kate Martin, Mike McGinn, Ed Murray, and Peter Steinbrueck all admitted to smoking marijuana in the past.  Candidates Joey Gray and Bruce Harrell said they had not.

Only Steinbrueck answered yes to the question about skinny dipping in Lake Washington.

Ballots and voters' pamphlets for the August 6 primary election will arrive in mailboxes throughout King County this week. The county will main 1.2 million ballots Wednesday.

If you don't receive your ballot by Wednesday, you should contact the Department of Elections.

The department has also expanded drop off locations once your ballot is filled out, including 12 vans and 10 "24-hour" drop off boxes.

 

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