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September 16, 2009 at 6:54 AM

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Joe Mallahan admits to 43rd district Dems he drives six blocks to work, loses endorsement

Posted by Emily Heffter

Mayoral candidate Mike McGinn won Tuesday night's 43rd district Democrats endorsement meeting at the University Heights Community Center. The meeting in the former school was packed with McGinn supporters, and candidate Joe Mallahan -- a member of the 43rd -- made only a brief appearance to answer 30 minutes worth of questions. He didn't even stick around to hear the results of the vote.

Mallahan touted his endorsements from six state legislators, saying his leadership style has attracted "the insiders, if you will." That's true. Mallahan has picked up many of the mainstream endorsements previously held by no candidate or by incumbent mayor Greg Nickels. The political arm of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce endorsed him this week, and representatives from the police and firefighter unions, which support him, were at last night's meeting passing out fliers.

McGinn countered: "Having the support of insiders is one thing. having the support of people is another."

McGinn's most triumphant moment of the night may have come with a question about transit. The moderator asked candidates to talk about streetcars and buses, and also to say when each last rode a Metro bus.

Mallahan recalled riding a bus over the summer from a Ballard bar to his home in Wallingford, but "I drive my Prius to work in Factoria," he said. Now that he's on leave, he admitted: 'I drive my Prius six blocks from my house over to Eastlake Avenue," where his campaign office is located.

McGinn has made a big deal throughout the campaign about being a bike commuter. He took the bus yesterday.

No candidate won the 43rd district group's endorsement for the primary. McGinn and incumbent mayor Greg Nickels came closest, with Mallahan in a close third place. (To win an endorsement, 60 percent of district members at the meeting have to vote for you.) McGinn got 69 percent last night.

I didn't stay for the results of the other big vote of the night: the endorsement for Seattle City Council position 8, but the 43rd District Democrats' Twitter feed reported the group overwhelmingly endorsed O'Brien over his opponent, Robert Rosencrantz.

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Jim Brunner
Covers politics.

Keith Ervin
Covers the Eastside.

Andrew Garber
Covers politics and state government from Olympia.

Emily Heffter
Covers local government.

Mike Lindblom
Covers transportation.

Kyung Song
Covers politics and regional issues from Washington, D.C.

Lynn Thompson
Covers Seattle City Hall.

Bob Young
Covers King County and urban affairs.