Greg Nickels

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Greg Nickels
Greg Nickels.jpg
Secretary of State of Washington
Former Candidate
Prior offices
Mayor of Seattle
January 2002-December 2009
High schoolSeattle Preparatory School
Bachelor'sUniversity of Washington
Place of birthChicago, Illinois
Personal website
(timed out) Campaign website
Greg Nickels was the 51st Mayor of Seattle and a long-time member of the King County Council. He was a Democratic candidate in the 2012 election for Washington Secretary of State. He lost in the "top-two" primary election on August 7, finishing third behind Kim Wyman (R) and [[Kathleen Drew] (D), who will square off in the general election on November 6, 2012.[1] Incumbent secretary Sam Reed is retiring from office at the end of the term.


Nickels was born in Chicago, but grew up in Seattle with his five younger siblings. He attended Seattle Prep and then went on to pursue higher education at the University of Washington, where he began his public service career at age 19 with the City of Seattle. Nickels became legislative assistant to then-City Councilmember Norm Rice in 1978, and remained in the position until 1987, when he was elected to the King County Council.[2]

Nickels served two terms as Mayor of Seattle, and sought a third, but was defeated in the primary. Since then, he taught a semester at Harvard and served a one-year term as a special representative to the United Nations.[3]


  • Seattle Preparatory School
  • University of Washington

Political career

Mayor of Seattle 2002-2009

Greg Nickels was Mayor of Seattle from 2002-2009. He lost his re-election bid for mayor in the 2009 Democratic primary. Nickels was a popular mayor for the better part of his two terms, making substantial strides in promotion of environmental conservation, public safety, and public transportation. His defeat came as a surprise; It was widely speculated that his sinking approval ratings leading up to the election were the result of poor handling of the city during an exceptionally snowy winter, and the loss of the Seattle SuperSonics.[3]

King County City Council 1988-2001

Nickels was elected to the King County City Council in 1987, and from 1988-2001, until he was elected Mayor of Seattle.[4]



See also: Washington secretary of state election, 2012

Nickels ran unsuccessfully for secretary of state in 2012. He faced 6 other candidates in the August 7 blanket primary election, in which he will needed more votes than at least 5 of his opponents, regardless of party preference, to advance to the general election in Novemeber.[5] He finished third, behind Kim Wyman (R) and [[Kathleen Drew] (D), who will square off in the general election on November 6, 2012.[6] Incumbent secretary Sam Reed is retiring from office at the end of the term.

Washington Secretary of State, Primary, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngKim Wyman 39.8% 528,754
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngKathleen Drew 21.7% 289,052
     Democratic Greg Nickels 15.9% 210,832
     Democratic Jim Kastama 13.9% 185,425
     Constitution Party Karen Murray 3.8% 50,888
     No Party Preference David Anderson 3.3% 44,276
     Human Rights Party Sam Wright 1.6% 20,809
Total Votes 1,330,036
Election Results via Washington Secretary of State (dead link)'

Issue Positions

  • Voting

On his campaign site, Nickels discussed his commitment to raising voter awareness and participation in Washington elections. As secretary of state, he said he would achieve this increase in participation by expanding DMV license registration programs, exploring youth pre-registration programs, and cooperating with the legislature to ensure eligible voters encounter as few obstacles to casting their ballots as possible. In addition, he said "I pledge to spend one day a week in a Washington State public school classroom talking with students and teachers about the importance of civics."[7]

Former Mayor of Seattle Greg Nickels is running for Washington Secretary of State in 2012
  • Campaign contributions

On his official campaign website, Nickels addressed the role of Citizens United and the recent Ninth Circuit Court ruling to overturn Washington's campaign contribution limits in state elections. As secretary of state, Nickels said "I will work to try and curb the influence of special interests in our elections while reforming our initiative process to make sure it remains a tool of citizens to better give them a voice in how we govern."[7]

  • Initiative Process

Nickels said he wanted to use the office to enhance the integrity of the state's initiative process by keeping it in the province of voters rather than corporations and special interests, and suggested raising the filing fee. On his campaign website, Nickels said "There are numerous proposals before the legislature that seek to curb the abuse of our democracy this and I think the Secretary of State’s office needs to work with legislative leaders and strike a balance between toughening requirements while ensuring citizens still have the ability to use this very important tool."[7]

  • Business growth

Nickels said he wanted to expand on the secretary of state's role as an agent for growing the small business culture in Washington through recruitment and opening markets. "I plan to travel throughout the state to meet with local business owners to help figure out how we can remove existing barriers and continue to make Washington a great place to live, work and do business."[7]


Nickels received endorsements from several Union organizations and local elected officials, including but not limited to:


Nickels currently resides in West Seattle with his wife Sharon and their two children, Jacob and Carey.

See also

External links

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