One of Edmonds’ most prominent names has endorsed Mike Rosen in the race for Edmonds mayor. Rick Steves announced Saturday he is supporting Rosen, who is challenging incumbent Mayor Mike Nelson in the November general election.
“This is a decision that I take seriously,” Steves said, adding that for months he has “deliberated on who will get my vote, talking with friends, going out for coffee privately with both candidates, and watching the (June 22 mayoral) debate.”
Four years ago, Steves — known not only for his European travel business but his political activism and philanthropy — endorsed Nelson in his race against opponent Neil Tibbott to become Edmonds mayor. While Steves said he calls current Mayor Nelson “a friend” — and one that he is “more politically in tune with” — he added that “the Mayor of Edmonds is not a partisan position — it’s an administrative position. And I think Mike Rosen will be a better administrator for Edmonds.”
Steves noted he met Rosen in 2020 on a task force to save the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce, and “I saw his people skills and organizational smarts in action. He has an energetic and collaborative style, and I found him simply fun to work with. Since then, I’ve been impressed by the passion, integrity, and hard work that has characterized his mayoral campaign, and I can imagine those same traits in a Mayor Rosen.
“Many people with a far better understanding of what it takes to run this city — people I have great respect for — have heartily endorsed Rosen,” Steves continued. “I value continuity, and a second term for a good mayor is a great thing — but continuity of staff is also important. I think that Rosen will bring a more collaborative vibe to city government and do a better job of both attracting and retaining talented civil servants.
In addition, Steves said, “I want a mayor whose focus is on bringing caring citizens together — an approachable leader who brings joy to the position, has an appetite for cheerleading in public, is present with gusto at events from the Summer Market to the various galas, and is simply just out and about around town.”
Steves said the last time he met with Rosen, “we talked about the dance between development and maintaining the green, small-town charm of Edmonds, which will be the challenge of any mayor. Mike is well aware that this town expects a leader who is a good steward of our environment, and I take him at his word that he will be one.”
As for current Mayor Mike Nelson, Steves said he “has worked hard, has the right priorities, and, given the pandemic cards he was dealt, I think he has done a good job running Edmonds,” adding “he has my respect.”
Howevever, Rosen “is too much of an inspirational ball of mayoral energy to not make my decision public,” Steves said. “So, for Mayor of Edmonds, he’s the Mike I’m endorsing.”
— By Teresa Wippel