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Wednesday, February 14, 2001 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Schell will run again for mayor of Seattle

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Mayor Paul Schell made it official today, announcing he'll seek a second term in office.

While he has been saying for months he was likely to run, Schell made the announcement just before 6 p.m. via "Schell mail," a periodic e-mail newsletter.

"After careful reflection and with the full support of my wonderful wife, Pam, I am announcing that I will seek the privilege of leading the city for another four years," Schell said in the newsletter.

Schell could not be reached.

He boasted of the civic building boom that accompanied his first term, including voter approval of levies for new libraries, parks, community centers and schools.

In seeking a second term, Schell said he'll put improvements to the city's transportation system "at the top of our to-do list."

The mayor did not mention what could prove to be his Achilles heel: lingering voter resentment over his handling of the World Trade Organization demonstrations in 1999.

A recent Elway poll found that Schell may face an uphill battle for re-election. Only 27 percent of Seattle voters surveyed said they supported him.

Metropolitan King County Councilman Greg Nickels, Schell's only official challenger at the moment, immediately questioned why Schell used an e-mail message to announce his candidacy.

Nickels also blasted Schell for waiting until the final year of his first term to unveil a transportation plan, which Schell did last month.

The plan calls for better bus service and studies of whether a monorail or trams could run through some neighborhoods.

Nickels has raised about $83,000 compared with Schell's $31,000, elections records show.

City Councilman Jim Compton and City Attorney Mark Sidran are also considering jumping into the race.

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