Incumbents earn high marks in Municipal League election rankings

July 20, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 11 a.m. July 20, 2010

Issaquah residents face some good choices — and a few not-so-good options — in the primary election next month. Or so the Municipal League of King County has decided.

For the most part, Issaquah-area lawmakers fared better than the challengers campaigning against them in August and November.

The league ranks candidates through a rigorous process during each election cycle. The annual rankings provide a tool for voters — plus fodder for candidates’ campaign mailers and websites.

Evaluators scrutinize candidate records, talk to references, review candidate questionnaires and interview the electoral hopefuls. The league rates candidates on four criteria: involvement, character, effectiveness and knowledge. Candidates then receive a grade ranging from the coveted outstanding to the less-desirable not qualified.

The league ranked candidates in the legislative and judicial races on Issaquah primary ballots. Voters must mail ballots by Aug. 17.

In the 5th Legislative District, the league ranked Republican state Rep. Glenn Anderson higher than Democratic challengers Dean Willard and David Spring. Evaluators rated Anderson as very good, Willard as good and Spring — the 2008 candidate against Anderson — as adequate.

State Rep. Judy Clibborn in the neighboring 41st Legislative District received the best grade a candidate can earn.

Evaluators declared the Mercer Island Democrat as outstanding. The league determined challengers Stephen Strader and Orion Webster to be unqualified.

In the judicial race on the Aug. 17 ballot, the league rated Donna Tucker and Ketu Shah as outstanding. The third candidate, Larry Mitchell ranked as very good.

“Our people and process are what make these ratings such important tools for voters,” Matthew Stubbs, Candidate Evaluation Committee chairman, said in a news release. “Committee volunteers commit to a nonpartisan assessment process that has been developed and refined by the league for the past 100 years. We use that same process with each candidate we evaluate to make sure league ratings are fair and consistent.”

The rankings released Monday also include candidates on the November general election ballot.

Besides the 5th and 41st district legislative races, Greenwood Point and South Cove voters will decide races in the 48th Legislative District.

The complete list for Issaquah races follows:

5th Legislative District, state representative Position 1

Jay Rodne — very good (incumbent)

Gregory Hoover — good

5th Legislative District, state representative Position 2

David Spring — adequate

Dean Willard — good

Glenn Anderson — very good (incumbent)

41st Legislative District, state representative Position 1

Marcie Maxwell — good (incumbent)

Peter Dunbar — very good

41st Legislative District, state representative Position 2

Stephen Strader — not qualified

Orion S. Webster — not qualified

Judy Clibborn — outstanding (incumbent)

41st Legislative District, state senator

Steve Litzow — very good

Randy Gordon — outstanding (incumbent)

48th Legislative District, state representative Position 1

Diane Tebelius — very good

Ross Hunter — very good (incumbent)

48th Legislative District, state representative Position 2

Philip L. Wilson — not qualified

Deb Eddy — very good (incumbent)

48th Legislative District, state senator

Rodney Tom — outstanding (incumbent)

Gregg Bennett — good

King County District Court Northeast Division, judge Position 6

John L. O’Brien — very good

Michael Finkle — good (incumbent)

King County District Court Northeast Division, judge Position 7

Donna Tucker — outstanding

Larry Mitchell — very good

Ketu Shah — outstanding

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