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Two in 48th District race get 'Outstanding' rating
Former Kirkland mayor Joan McBride, in her first legislative race, earned a rating of "Very Good" from the local Municipal League in her bid for representative Position No. 2 in the 48th District. The district includes the northern portion of Bellevue, along with Medina, Clyde Hill and the Points communities.
McBride is running against Libertarian Tim Turner, who earned a rating of "Adequate." The seat is currently held by Rep. Cyrus Habib, who is running for state Senate after Sen. Rodney Tom (D-Bellevue) announced he would not seek re-election.
Habib was one of just two candidates in the district to earn a rating of "Outstanding." Rep. Ross Hunter (D-Medina) who is seeking re-election to Position 1, also earned the "Outstanding" rating from the league. Hunter increased his rating from "Very Good" in 2012.
Habib's opponent, Republican Michelle Darnell, earned a rating of "Adequate." Hunter is being challenged by Bill Hirt (R-Bellevue), who did not participate in the process and was rated "Not Qualified." Hirt did participate in the process in 2012 when he challenged Hunter and also earned the same rating.
"Outstanding" is the league's highest rating. The league's website defines "Outstanding" as that the candidate "Has made numerous outstanding contributions requiring skills related to the office, is a path-finding and respected leader, brings knowledge and creativity to issues facing the office."
The league's nonpartisan process used 50 volunteers, who devoted more than 1,000 hours to collect the information. To determine candidate ratings, the volunteers reviewed candidate questionnaires, studied the public record, spoke with references and conducted interviews with candidates, according to the Municipal League's website.
The questionnaire the candidates fill out include information on the candidate's background like other elected offices held, volunteerism, community work and employment.
The ratings are not meant as an endorsement by the league but rather it assess each candidate’s potential to be effective in office and ability to serve the community. Committee members then rated each candidate on four criteria: involvement, character, effectiveness and knowledge.
Matt Phelps is regional editor of the Kirkland Reporter and Bothell Reporter, both sister papers to the Bellevue Reporter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-822-9166 ext 5050.