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Seattle has become major talking point for Spokane mayoral race

Seattle’s problems are not just hot button topics for current council candidates. Spokane’s mayoral hopefuls are crafting their campaign talking points around the Emerald City as a scary example of what can go wrong under poor leadership.

“We need to get a handle on the situation before we become Seattle,” candidate Nadine Woodward is quoted in the Spokesman-Review.

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As candidate Woodward points out, Spokane is facing a handful of issues — homelessness, public safety, drama at city hall, and helping local businesses. Sound familiar? These factors have created some compare-and-contrast rhetoric in Spokane’s mayoral race.

Woodward is not alone in using this talking point to bolster a brand. Spokane mayoral candidate Shawn Poole promoted the Seattle is Dying TV special — via Twitter on April 2 — comparing Seattle’s woes to Spokane’s current “crucial issues.”

Woodward also tweeted out the Seattle is Dying story on March 18 saying “Wake up #Spokane! WE need to do EVERYTHING possible to make sure THIS doesn’t happen HERE.” Then again on March 30, saying “On Seattle, Dying and an Ugly Reflection.”

Woodward’s Twitter conversations continued, saying “Speaking as a member of this great community who’s not willing to let the city I love end up like Seattle.”

When it comes to candidate Andy Rathbun, however, Seattle is still a talking point but not from the same angle. He seems to be using the issue to show weaknesses in his opponents’ arguments, relying on scary Seattle.

In a video on his campaign website, Rathbun states (showing a tweet from Woodward):

Look, I know it’s way too early for political ads, but I’ve been worried for some time now about the tone of conversations concerning our homeless. Some public figures are sending out scary scenes from Seattle. But they are ignoring the full story — there are solutions.

Rathbun notes that military veterans, like himself, are a factor in the homelessness crisis.

Seattle and Spokane

Seattle has proven to be a great marketing tool for Spokane, and not just for political campaigns.

Over the past year, the city in Eastern Washington spent $450,000 on a marketing campaign to entice Seattle businesses to move to Spokane. Great commutes, decent housing prices, and gentrification were all used as selling points.

The campaign includes the Hacking Washington website, which promotes the benefits of moving to Spokane.

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