Seattle City Council Candidate Crib Sheet
Position No. 1 Primary
Jean Godden The 79-year-old, on the council since 2004, is regarded the most vulnerable incumbent; she attracted three challengers and is the only council incumbent who must endure the August 16 primary. Still, she has a track record of strong wins; she nabbed 71 percent of the vote in 2007.
Maurice Classen The King County deputy prosecuting attorney, who sells himself as a change agent, is the best bet in the contributions horse race against his fellow challengers and most likely to gallop to the November 8 general. He’s passionate but uninformed about online engagement. He said recently: “I want a ‘myseattle.gov’ site” (a site like that already exists).
Michael Taylor-Judd The self-described “wonky kind of guy” and longtime light-rail advocate campaigns as the only antitunnel candidate on the primary ballot, but he’s off to a slow start: Only six nonstaffers showed up for his candidacy kickoff (compared to Classen’s 50-plus attendees).
Bobby Forch The Department of Transportation employee and former grade-school teacher pushes for reforms hatched in the civic trenches; he wants a civilian on the police department’s Firearms Review Board. But it will be difficult for him to beat the high-profile Classen for a spot in the general.
Position No. 3 General
Bruce Harrell Despite a rather bland record, the first-term incumbent has new ideas, like body cameras for police officers and subsidized Internet for low-income students. Harrell behaves like this election is a cakewalk—ignoring his challenger’s presence in the race—but he’ll still have to put some time in on the trail.
Brad Meacham The former online editor at MSN Money tweets things like, “At community forum on #paidsickdays in U District. If Bruce Harrell really cared about a healthy Seattle he’d be here too,” and snubs his opponent’s pet projects (“Body cameras aren’t good enough”). Seattleites have traditionally punished negative campaigns, but Meacham will appeal to voters unhappy with the council.
Position No. 5 General
Tom Rasmussen The second-term council member shops his weekly “neighborhood chats” as a track record of success. But by emphasizing his focus on filthy alleys, creating new crosswalks, and replacing a missing bus stop he risks voters seeing his pitch as parading—just in time for the election.
Dale L. Pusey When asked what his positions were, the 32-year-old accountant and West Seattleite said he didn’t have any yet. And his leadership experience consists of founding a charity for Iron Horse State Park. He filed for candidacy on the last possible day. “I wasn’t quite sure it was the right time,” he explained. “I wanted to do this myself, even if I don’t have a chance.”
Position No. 7 General
Tim Burgess The first-time incumbent and former cop is on the short list of people most likely to run for mayor in two years; he was practically unchallenged leading up to filing week. With close to $200,000 in the bank and his challenger not even bothering to file financial statements, this race is an easy call.
David Schraer The architect was to be part of a cabal of antitunnel candidates that never materialized. Now he has an axe to grind with former ally Mayor McGinn for not fighting the tunnel too hard. He says he knows he won’t win and is in the race to build name recognition.
Position No. 9 Primary
Sally Clark The two-term council member is refreshingly self-deprecating about her obsession with zoning issues and an inability to hide her zeal for wonky policy debates. It doesn’t hurt that she already has 10 times the funding as Ferguson, her most viable challenger.
Dian Ferguson The former public-access channel director has declared war on the “Seattle process,” but hasn’t brought a lot of new ideas to the table. “I’m a realist. I’m also high energy and optimistic,” she said. “I believe in miracles.” It’ll take a miracle to beat Clark.
Fathi Karshie The paralegal and director of Global Aid Against Poverty is calling for a “reconceptualization of the policing system” and wants to reverse parking tax rates. But he only appeared at one candidate forum prior to filing—which makes it difficult to take him seriously as a candidate.