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.


Seattle Port Commissioner Position 3

Stephanie Bowman


Rating: Well Qualified

In April, the Port Commission chose Bowman to fill the vacancy left after Rob Holland resigned. While that short time hasn’t given Bowman a chance to make a big impact, her previous experience, including as executive director of the Washington Asset Building Coalition, a nonprofit that helps low-income people with homeownership, starting businesses, and fighting foreclosure; a Seattle Chamber staffer; and most important, five years as the Port of Tacoma’s government affairs manager—is germane.

During her tenure at the Port of Tacoma, Bowman oversaw the implementation of policies that improved international trade competitiveness and environmental regulation, and helped manage the federal government affairs budget. Her platform, a bit generic, emphasizes the basics: job creation (investing in freight mobility) and environmentalism, where's she shows more creativity. For example, she advocates "cold ironing," an alternative energy option for shipping, on-dock rail to minimize trucking, and, like everyone, she's wants to clean up the Duwamish.

Bowman is the only Port candidate who's gotten contributions from BNSF ($1,800) or SSA Marine ($250), two companies with direct interests in the controversial Cherry Point coal terminal.

Sole Endorsements include: King County Labor Council, UFCW 21, the Machinists, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, and the 43rd District Democrats.

Andrew Pilloud

Rating: Sorta Qualified


Pilloud, a twenty-something software programmer at Isilon Systems and libertarian with no relevant experience, is running on his opposition to airport boarding security overreach at SeaTac and increasing freight mobility. He also wants to make the port more accessible to the public by moving commission meetings from 1pm to 6pm.

Endorsements: None

(The Municipal League of King County rated him “Good”).

Michael Wolfe

Rating: Qualified


While Wolfe has worked 15 years as a travel consultant and hotel manager, not on-point governance qualifications for the Port of Seattle, has has put forward an informed plan that includes forming lobbying coalitions with the Port of Tacoma and raising wage standards for non-union-represented airport workers. A dedicated 37th District Democratic Party activist, he supports the Port Commission’s Century Agenda, which aims to create more port jobs by encouraging global business and international travel, something the other candidates haven't weighed in on. 

Additionally, he is the only candidate that has spoken out about enacting additional security measures against human trafficking, a taboo, but serious issue.

Sole endorsements include: U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, state Sens. Adam Kline (D-37) and Bob Hasegawa (D-11), state Rep. Eric Pettigrew (D-37), Seattle City Council member Mike O’Brien, the 11th District Democrats, and the 46th District Democrats.

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