The Municipal League of King County released its candidate ratings today. The group—a nonprofit good-government organization that ranks candidates based on "effectiveness, knowledge, involvement, and character" but does not endorse—gave state Sen. Ed Murray, who's challenging Mayor Mike McGinn, its only "outstanding" rating—their highest possible ranking.
McGinn and former city council member Peter Steinbrueck were ranked "very good" (the group's second best rating); real-estate broker Charlie Staadecker and city council member Bruce Harrell were ranked "good"; Greenwood activist Kate Martin and nonprofit consultant Joey Gray were ranked "adequate"; and Socialist candidate Mary Martin and attorney Doug McQuaid were ranked "not qualified"—Martin because she declined to participate, McQuaid because he could not be contacted. Worth noting, though: Last time around, T-Mobile executive Joe Mallahan was, like Murray, the only candidate who received an "outstanding" rating.
(Worth noting, though: Last time around, T-Mobile executive Joe Mallahan was the only candidate who received an "outstanding" rating. McGinn, who received only a "good" rating from the Muni League—making this year's "very good" rating a step up—went on to beat Mallahan in the general election).
You can read the candidates' full questionnaires, along with ratings in races for Seattle Port Commission, Seattle School Board, King County Council, and Bellevue City Council, among other races, at the Muni League's web site.
Or you can test your knowledge of the contenders with this quick quote quiz, with all quotes taken verbatim from the candidates' responses to the Muni League questionnaire (and bonus quotes in the answers below to provide a little more info on each candidate).
The candidates are: Joey Gray, Bruce Harrell, Kate Martin, Mike McGinn, Ed Murray, Charlie Staadecker, and Peter Steinbrueck.
Who said it?
1. "I am running for Mayor of Seattle because I see a lack of leadership in our current Mayor, a growing disparity between diverse cultures, and a weakening middle-class that needs to be at the forefront of our city politics."
2. "For too long this city has been fragmented by dysfunctional governance. We have to get beyond the bickering and personality conflicts to restore the public’s confidence in our city government. We all want quality schools, more efficient transit, and safer streets, but we’ve been unable to make sufficient progress on any of these issues because of a failure of leadership at City Hall."
3. "I’m deeply committed to the arts. I’ve commissioned three symphonic works and two plays, one of which has played in over 100 cities."
4. "I will work with Sound Transit to get a transit expansion proposal on the ballot in 2016 and work to secure better and more local funding options. I’m also working with mayors across the region to support funds to save Metro and repair our roads."
5. “As an Executive Committee member of the World Flying Disc Federation, I represented all flying disc sports including Ultimate, Disc Golf, and Freestyle as its primary liaison to the Olympic movement. As such, I was the public face of an entire sport, operating internationally with people from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds.”"I support making room for new growth, but at the same time preserving the character of our neighborhoods."
6. "My campaign is about the future of Seattle. It’s time to rebalance our city around people, neighborhoods and communities before we lose what we value most. … services, and transit stops from their homes. I support making room for new growth, but at the same time preserving the character of our neighborhoods."
7. "I’m a democrat with composite politics. I’m for every child, every woman and every man. I toe no lines that would prevent me from listening to and understanding all sides because in doing so I am able to create a wholeism that is just not possible with polarization."
Answers below ...
1. Bruce Harrell.
Bonus quote: "My office will always demand that Seattle aspire and deliver an affordable living environment with safe streets that welcomes women, single parents, young graduates, and immigrants to our magnificent city. I will work to ensure that Seattle is a leader on climate change and new energy technology that allows us to raise our standards of living while also leaving a smaller environmental footprint."
2. Ed Murray. Bonus quote:
"Along with building a new culture of cooperation in Seattle government, it is important that the next mayor makes a sincere effort to reestablish positive relations with our regional, state, and federal partners. Unlike my opponents, I have very strong relationships in Olympia, regionally, and with our federal delegation. The current mayor has very strained relationships with key elected officials there and that has made it very difficult for Seattle to get its needs addressed."
3. Charlie Staadecker.
Bonus quote: "In the last 3 years do you feel the streets are safer, police have closer partnerships with neighborhoods, commutes are more efficient and bicyclists are safer, parking rates encourage people to come downtown, potholes are filled and pedestrian crossings are painted?"
4. Mike McGinn.
Bonus quote: "Convening stakeholders, making government more transparent and accessible, responsive constituent correspondence, and much more needs to happen in order to accurately represent the public. It is my job to understand the public’s priorities and translate them into decision-making and policy that is sustainable and equitable."
5. Joey Gray. Bonus quote:
"In terms of personal choices, I am the real deal, having made fundamental changes in my own life in the spirit of responsibility. This means living in a 384 sq. ft. house, not owning a car, and exchanging my former globetrotting career for local activism."
6. Peter Steinbrueck.
Bonus quote: "Seattle city leaders have taken a step backward in keeping the public engaged and involved. Consider the South Lake Union plans that would block the views of the lake, without considering the diversity of housing needed to support employment and community needs. Or the recently proposed LA-style sports arena in the heart of our busy maritime industrial area that provides thousands of family-wage jobs."
7. Kate Martin.
Bonus quote: "It really seems like we’re eating our seed corn. Growth decoupled from comprehensive sustainability and a lack of concurrency with basic infrastructure leaves us empty and no one more empty than the next generation. The policy direction you can expect me to pursue with council will favor prevention over intervention, diversity over monoculture, children over adults, maintenance over neglect, frugality over largess and systems over symptoms."