Still looking for guidance on your primary election ballot? (They're due next Tuesday, August 6.) We'll be rolling out ratings all week.
We're not going to tell you how to vote, but—inspired by the even-keeled Seattle/King County Municipal League, which ranks candidates based on skill, experience, and policy acumen rather than on ideology—we’ve been evaluating the candidates' resumés and doing interviews to come up with our own ratings. Using a scale of "Super Qualified," "Well Qualified," "Qualified," "Sorta Qualified," and "Not Qualified," we dug through candidate questionnaires, looked at campaign finance reports, and did background reporting (and checks) to help you make informed decisions.
Our ratings don't pass judgment on the candidates' politics. For example, whether or not a school board candidate took money from the Gates Foundation or the union; whether or not a Port candidate took money from any of the companies behind the controversial coal train proposal; or whether or not a mayoral candidate wants Whole Foods to develop on Fauntleroy Way in West Seattle, didn't affect our assessment.
But we'll definitely let you know those kinds of details.—Eds.
Rating: Super Qualified
Incumbent King County Executive Dow Constantine has had a successful first term. Examples: He provided health services to the county’s homeless population—securing more than $21 million in federal assistance—and he kept Metro afloat two years ago, lobbying Republican lawmakers in Olympia and on the King County Council to approve a temporary fee to help cover Metro's costs.
Another hallmark of his first term has been a measured, collaborative approach. For example, he appointed conservative Democrat (and erstwhile Republican) Fred Jarrett, his opponent in his hotly contested first election, as his deputy execytuve.
That wasn’t just early-term bipartisan window dressing; Jarrett has been influential, helping implement the county's LEAN management policies for more cost-effective government. Constantine also demonstrated strong bipartisanship in 2012 when he scaled back health care costs to a sustainable rate by pushing refom on the unions (and pushing the Healthy Incentives program, which lowered health costs by encouraging prevention and improving employees' health). Constantine pledges to focus on transportation funding (the local Metro funding he secured runs out next year) and improving efficiency in the government’s financial structure.
Sole Endorsements: It's no wonder that Constantine's endorsements reflect a broad base, including the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, the King County Labor Council, the Washington Conservation Voters, the King County Realtors, and NARAL. The Republicans have not fielded an opponent after investing heavily in the race in 2009 (when former KIRO TV anchor Susan Hutchison lost to Constantine).
Alan E. Lobdell, Goodspaceguy, Everett A. Stewart
Ratings: Not Qualified
Alan Lobdell is a twice-bankrupted civil engineer who's campaigning on prioritizing roads over public transportation and making others respect the “gun and Christian culture this country was founded on.”
Goodspaceguy, in case you don’t remember from past elections, compared paying for Sound Transit to hiring a prostitute and has spoken at length about how “sky homes” are the solution to high transportation expenses.
Stewart is a part-time Metro Transit operator who wants to establish a countywide “Internet utility” to lower telecommunications costs. None of these candidates has ever held political office.
Sole Endorsements: N/A