Issaquah candidates receive boost in Municipal League rankings

July 2, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 1 p.m. July 2, 2012

Issaquah candidates for the Legislature received top marks from the Municipal League of King County, as the nonpartisan organization ranked candidates a little more than a month before the Aug. 7 primary.

In the 5th Legislative District, state Senate candidate Mark Mullet and state House of Representatives candidate Chad Magendanz impressed Muni League evaluators.

Mullet, a Democrat and Issaquah City Council member, earned a very good rating from the group. The league ranked Mullet’s GOP opponent, Snoqualmie businessman Brad Toft, as good.

Magendanz, a Republican and Issaquah School Board member, received a coveted outstanding rating from the Muni League.

Challenger David Spring, a Democrat and candidate for the seat in 2008 and 2010, receive a rating of adequate. The other candidate in the race, independent Ryan Burkett, received a rating of not qualified.

In the neighboring 41st Legislative District, newcomer Tim Eaves, a Republican, earned a higher rating than incumbent state Rep. Marcie Maxwell. The league rated Eaves as very good, compared to good for Maxwell, a Renton Democrat.

Steve Litzow, a Republican and the incumbent senator in the district, received a very good rating. The league rated Democrat Maureen Judge as good.

Post-Census 2010 redistricting divided Issaquah between the 5th and 41st districts.

In the race for King County sheriff, league evaluators ranked appointed incumbent Steve Strachan as outstanding and challenger John Urquhart, a former sheriff’s office spokesman, as good. The nonpartisan office is up for election a year early due to the resignation of former Sheriff Sue Rahr.

Evaluators also ranked judicial candidates for the King County Superior Court bench.

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

Evaluators scrutinize candidate records, check references, review candidate questionnaires and interview the electoral hopefuls. The league rates candidates on a set of criteria: involvement, character, effectiveness and knowledge.

Candidates then receive a grade ranging from the prized outstanding to the less-desirable not qualified.

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