Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Seattle mayoral election is one of the few around the country that remains too close to call. What's striking, though, is who isn't ahead or isn't involved at all:
-Mayor Greg Nickels. The two-term incumbent placed third in the all-candidate primary, which eliminated him from the general election.
-Former Seattle SuperSonics center James Donaldson. The 7'2" basketball player came in fourth in the primary.
-Councilmember Jan Drago. The veteran politician came in fifth in the primary.
-Joe Mallahan, a cell phone company executive who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money on the race. He currently trails by 462 votes.
The leading candidate (with thousands more ballots to count) is Mike McGinn, a lawyer and environmental activist. Seattle is the sort of place where it isn't that surprising that an environmental activist would have a chance to be elected mayor.
Nonetheless, usually when there's an upset in politics, the underdog has overcome one or perhaps two frontrunners. If McGinn wins, he'll have defeated four people who were more famous or better funded (or both) than he was.
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