Money, endorsements are lopsided in mayor race

October 8, 2013

By Peter Clark

Money, time and people make an election successful, and the next mayor of Issaquah will need all three.

With only a month left until the general election, mayoral candidates City Council President Fred Butler and City Councilman Joe Forkner are heading into the home stretch and collecting all the donations, endorsements and votes they can.

Butler has pulled far ahead in terms of raising money. He has collected more than $22,800, which state records, going back to 2000, show is the most an Issaquah candidate has raised.

Butler’s donors are from all over the area, where he has received money from individuals and companies that all want to assist his bid for Issaquah’s mayor. He even received $500 from Microsoft.

“People have been very, very generous,” he said. “I have had the good fortune of working with a lot of different groups.”

Forkner has collected more than $5,900 in his campaign.

As for endorsements, Forkner’s include Eastside Fire Fighters, IAFF Local 2878, ‘Vintage Vehicle Show’ host Lance Lambert, Sunset Hiway Cruisers Car Club, Gary Estes (of Gary Estes Mobile Repairs), Chuck Olson, Russell Joe and Ashley Saunders.

“I probably could get more, but I haven’t been focusing on it,” Forkner said, voicing his opinion that endorsements add little to his campaign. “In reality, what does it get me?”

Butler, on the other hand, has made it a firm mission to collect notable endorsements.

“I was rated outstanding by the Municipal League of King County,” Butler said. “And I am endorsed by a cross section of both parties, both locally and regionally.”

Among the many endorsements listed on Butler’s website are Sen. Mark Mullet, Rep. Chad Magendanz, Rep. Jay Rodne, former Rep. Marcie Maxwell, King County Executive Dow Constantine as well as six members of the King County Council and multiple former Issaquah City Council members.

Organizations that have endorsed Butler include the Washington Conservation Voters, Cascade Bicycle Alliance, Eastside Business Alliance, Affordable Housing Council, Seattle King County Realtors and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587.

Bill Frisinger, Mayor Ava Frisinger’s husband, has led Butler’s campaign as its manager. Forkner did have a manager early on, but has since done most of the organization and work himself.

Forkner said that he looked to try to match Butler’s exposure, but felt the time to build a stronger base grew very short, particularly after King County mails out the ballots Oct. 16.

“Once the ballots come out, you really only have a little bit of time to be affective,” he said.

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