Evan Smith: Hall says he can overcome factionalism

Thursday, December 10, 2009

By Evan Smith
ShorelineAreaNews Politics Writer


Shoreline Councilman-elect Will Hall (pictured) says that his victory in the recent election shows that he can help unite the City’s political factions.

He told me Monday that, while he had won precincts that Councilwoman Janet Way had carried in the August primary, he also carried precincts that candidate Patty Hale had carried.

Both Hale and Hall had started the campaign as critics of Way, but after Way finished third in the primary, she threw her support and that of the 32nd District Democratic Committee behind second-place finisher Hall.

Hall said, however, that other factors helped him win the election.

One was a variety of endorsements.

Hall said that the endorsements from Way and the Democrats helped him win support.

“The 32nd District Democrats helped by distributing literature, and Janet Way publicly encouraged people to support me, “ he said, but also noted, “Some people chose not to support me because of those endorsements.”

He also credited support from the Cascade Bicycle Club, the Association of Realtors, and the Washington Conservation Voters.

“Each of these groups may have contributed a couple percentage points to my 8 point win,” he said, “but having support from a broad array of well-known organizations was more important than any single endorsement.”

Hall said that another factor was personal contact through ringing doorbells.

“ I won 67 of the 88 precincts (76 percent) overall,” he said, “but I won 34 of the 37 precincts (92 percent) that I personally door-belled.”

Hall’s precinct-by-precinct analysis of his victory showed that, while he won areas that had supported Way in the primary, he also won areas that had supported Hale.

“Eight of the 10 precincts where I improved the most over Patty Hale between the primary and the general election were precincts that Patty Hale won in the primary,” he said. “I won six of those precincts and Patty held four.

“The opposite end of the scale was similar. Seven of the 10 precincts where Patty improved most over me between the primary and the general election were precincts that I won in the primary. But Patty won only three of them and I held seven.”

In addition, he said that voters told him that they supported him because of government experience and independence.

Hall said that the District Democrats’ support wasn’t a deciding factor.

“The 32nd District endorsed five candidates over the course of the campaign (Way, Ryu, Roberts, Hall, DiPeso). Two of them won and three of them lost, he noted. “It does not appear that their endorsements were deciding factors in the elections.”

Neither, he said was the revelation that Hale had recruited students to work on her campaign.

He said that his making peace with Janet Way and the Democratic Committee showed that he could get beyond old factions and work with people with whom he had disagreements.

He also told me that he didn’t expect his employment with Snohomish County to present a problem.

“Every council member has a life outside the Council,” he said. “By being clear about roles and maintaining a high standard of ethics, I expect to avoid the conflicts of interest, legal, and ethical issues that some officials have created in the past.”

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