Seattle voters elect Greg Nickels mayor on November 6, 2001.

  • By Walt Crowley
  • Posted 1/01/2002
  • Essay 3664
See Additional Media

On November 6, 2001, Metropolitan King County Council member Greg Nickels (b. 1955) narrowly defeats City Attorney Mark Sidran to win election as mayor of Seattle. Because of the high number of absentee votes, the actual outcome is not known until November 15, when Sidran concedes in the face of Nickel's small but insurmountable lead. The final count gives Nickels 50.1 percent of the vote compared to Sidran's 48.4 percent (with remaining votes cast for write-in candidates). 

Nickels overcame Sidran's two-to-one funding advantage and near-monopoly on press endorsements, and an aggressive campaign that focused on Sound Transit's lack of progress in building a light rail system. Sidran emphasized his "decisive leadership" as a three-term and often controversial City Attorney, while Nickels stressed his political experience as a King County Council member since 1987 and his commitment to "the Seattle Way" of public consultation and inclusion.

Both men had outpolled incumbent Mayor Paul Schell (1937-2014) and eight lesser challengers in the September 18 primary. The final general election tally was:

  • Greg Nickels - 86,403
  • Mark Sidran - 83,245.

In other general election results, City Council members Richard Conlin, Jan Drago, Richard McIver (1941-2013), and Nick Licata won re-election; Tom Carr was elected City Attorney over Edsonya Charles; and Lawrence Malloy defeated longtime Port of Seattle Commissioner Jack Block. Only 45 percent of eligible voters participated in the election.


The Seattle Times, November 7, 2001; Ibid., November 16, 2001.

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You