The Municipal League of King County issued its candidate ratings today. The Muni League doesn't judge based on ideology, which means that if a candidate likes bike lanes or body cameras or linkage fees more than the next guy, they don't get extra points.
The Muni League's ratings are based on a candidate's history of civic engagement and leadership (getting things done) and on a candidate's knowledge of the issues. (You can download all the candidates' questionnaires here.)
Their ratings range from "Outstanding" to "Very Good," to "Good" to "Adequate" to "Not Qualified."
Of the nearly 50 city council candidates running this year, only four got an "Outstanding" rating: incumbent Sally Bagshaw, incumbent Tim Burgess, at-large candidate Lorena González, and Position Four candidate Rob Johnson.
In West Seattle's Position One race, where conventional wisdom says the two frontrunners are King County council member Joe McDermott aide Shannon Braddock and city council member Nick Licata aide Lisa Herbold—Braddock bested Herbold with a "Very Good" rating to Herbold's "Good." Low-income housing advocate Brianna Thomas, also considered one to watch, only got an "Adequate," while longtime neighborhood activist Chas Redmond scored a "Very Good" along with Braddock.
In Southeast Seattle's Position Two race, incumbent council member Bruce Harrell got a "Very Good" rating. His main opponent Tammy Morales scored a "Good." (Joshua Farris, a left winger who parrots Kshama Sawant, only received an "Adequate" rating.)
In Central Seattle and Capitol Hill's Position Three race, incumbent freshman phenomenon Sawant got just a "Good" compared to main challenger, Urban League leader Pamela Banks' "Very Good" rating.
In Position Four (Eastlake northeast through the U. District to Sand Point), incumbent Jean Godden only received a "Good." Ouch. It was the lowest score of any veteran incumbent. (The Muni League embarrassed Godden with a "Good" rating in 2011 as well.)
Transportation Choices Coalition leader Johnson, one of the few candidates this year to get an "Outstanding" rating, is in the pack running against Godden. (The Muni Leage gave the other main contenders in this race, Democratic Party activist Michael Maddux and neighborhood activist Tony Provine, "Good" ratings.)
In the crowded Position Five race, North Seattle, Low Income Housing Institute staffer Mercedes Elizalde stood out with a "Very Good" among a parade of "Good" ratings, including a "Good" for supposed frontrunner, reverend Sandy Brown.
In Position Six, Ballard, incumbent Mike O'Brien, who's facing limited competition, scored a "Very Good."
In Position Seven, Downtown and Queen Anne, incumbent Bagshaw, who's also facing minimal competition, got one of the few "Outstanding" ratings this year.
In the at-large Position Eight race—one of the more interesting races this season where tenants' rights advocate Jon Grant and indie rocker John Roderick are challenging council president Tim Burgess—Burgess scored an "Outstanding" rating to Grant and Roderick's "Good" ratings.
In the other at-large position, Position Nine, a weather vane race where a traditional neighborhood activist, Bill Bradburd, is facing off civil rights attorney Lorena González , Bradburd came up short with a "Good" rating to González's outstanding.