Mike Bonin remains in middle of City Council race, though he dropped out 9 months ago
With a month left before voters head to the polls, the battle for control of a key Seattle city council seat appears to be over. Incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn has been reelected to a third term and has amassed the support of all five councilmembers of the pro-development, pro-taxpayer Seattle City Council majority, leaving only one challenger — Michael Bonin — with a shot at winning.
Bonin won more votes but is now on the outside looking in, after more than 8,000 votes were cast in the May 3 primary election. His opponent, former councilmember Sally Bagshaw, easily swept away her Democratic opponents in Tuesday’s runoff.
If he loses, Bonin is looking for another run for mayor, and his political legacy likely won’t be the one he’s made it, but rather that of Seattle’s most prominent political exile.
“If it was about making a name for myself, that would be my goal,” he said. “This is the most important position I have ever had.”
If he loses, Bonin remains a well-known and well-liked figure in Seattle’s political universe, having been appointed by McGinn to serve on the University Art Museum Corporation and other boards, a job he said he didn’t like but ultimately agreed to. And he has never held elected office.
Bonin isn’t running to make a name for himself, but a political one. He’s running to make people think about what’s happened to Seattle’s politics in the era of Trump, and particularly the Seattle City Council, which has become a rubber stamp on almost every progressive policy the Trump administration pursues in Washington. The council’s endorsement of a massive new tax on everything from car rentals to water usage to the private investment fund created by a measure endorsed by Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell was one such example.
He thinks the council’s actions are responsible for the city’s worsening inequality, its decline in quality of life