The Stranger's Endorsements for the August 2015 Primary Election!

We've Got Districts, Motherfuckers—and Everyone in Seattle Is Running for Office. So Pop Open a Shandy, Tear Open Your Ballot, and Vote How We Tell You to in Races for City Council, Port Commission, and (Kill Us Now) School Board


Love the endorsement of Lorena Gonzalez and Debora Juarez! Our city council couldn't have better representatives to help us complete the crucial work of police reform than TWO former civil rights attorneys!
Alon Bassok over Lorena Gonzalez. Otherwise, as usual, good slate. I like Sandy over your choice for D5, but c'est la vie.
Pretty good other than Gregoire- good job!
You know, you could at least mention Persak; he's a solid candidate:…
Didn't the SECB literally beg anyone to run in the 7th when it looked like Bagshaw was unopposed?
The Stranger blew it on Position no. 9. Bill Bradburd is infinitely more qualified, more knowledgeable, and more responsive to neighborhood concerns than pretty Ms. Gonzalez, although admittedly she has raised a hell of a lot more money .. thanks to her attorney friends (Mexican Piss cases or not) and her immediate past boss, Hizzoner. Bill understands how legislation works and can't be bought. He'll owe no one. VOTE for Bill.
Wake up -- there are other Seattle School Board races.
Vote for Rick Burke in position 2

Sorry. I don't vote for people named "Gregoire" who voted to lease Shell Oil a place to park the tools to destroy the planet.
Kill the trolls please, Mod. Be ruthless, don't just delete, ERASE their existence. Yeah, I know they'll come back but wack-a-mole can be fun for unpaid interns.
@18: not sure that's a troll as much as an insane person.
@1 Of all issues you pick to support Gonzalez on, you pick police reform! She's endorsed by SPOG. SPOG endorsements are in conflict with The Stranger in 5 out of 6 races.

SECB's discussion of this race is totally lacking any mention of relevant issues in this campaign, of the very existence of other candidates, or of Gonzalez's policy positions (assuming she has any). Really weak.
First, entertaining explanations as usual.

Second, good picks for Seattle School Board with Geary and Harris. These two are dynamic, smart women with specific skill sets to bring to the table. (And Geary won't need to "bully" anyone - common sense and persuasion are likely to do the trick. We need more common sense on the Seattle School Board instead of the majority who bow to staff wishes and City bullying.)

Third, there WILL be other School Board races to vote on in November; it's just that there are only two people in each of the other two races so The Stranger didn't have to interview them yet. But early call for Rick Burke in Position 2 and no idea in Position 1.

I like most of the picks but I say Bill Bradburd is a better choice. He's just got the fire in the belly that she doesn't.

Also, ANYONE but Burgess. Stranger absolutely nailed it on this entire commentary on him. (To note, he went on and on about how many seats would be created with the new Seattle Preschool Program, up to 2,000. Understand those are NOT NEW seats; rather, the majority will be existing preschool seats run by a previous operator who will now run them under the City's plan. That's not helping kids who need preschool seats.)
Ugh, Grant. I'd probably support Roderick over Burgess, I think, but I expect it'll be a close call. But they're both light years better than that tool. That the SECB takes his nonsense as "wonkery" shows just how much the political acumen of this paper has declined.
Whoa, you guys missed the mark on District 1. Lisa Herbold is rabidly anti-development, anti-density, pro-parking. She may want to wring a few more units of subsidized housing out of the govt coffers, but her efforts to stop all new market rate development would cause far far more harm to this city's affordability. Gotta vote Braddock instead.
Re Position 9: I'm so irritated at The Stranger--before stating your endorsement in the other races, you "compare and contrast"--you evaluate the various candidates' strengths and weaknesses, then weigh in to endorse. This is helpful & informative. For Position 9, you just come out gushing for Lorena Gonzalez and don't even mention her very strong opponent--Bill Bradburd. Hey Stranger--what is this? another canned inside deal? How about being even-handed?
The endorsement of Bruce Harrell reminds me of the Pettigrew one where you referred to him as floating turd then endorsed him and we here in his district are still cleaning up that turd. I don't think you have a clue what this happening in this rapidly gentrifying area when it comes to the long term residents who are poor, of color and are largely renters. We need Harrell like we needed Pettigrew. New times, new brooms and I would rather take a chance on a witch on a broom than Harrell. He can fly fly away. Pick up Santos Tomas with him can she drive now after her DUI? Anyone else in the hood with one would be on work release cleaning up the turds. Seattle needs some fresh blood.
Your decision to endorse Sawant was predictable but wrong. She is an idealogue who takes credit for the work of others, and endorses solutions like expropriation of property. First they came for Boeing, then they came for you folks. If you like theater and divisiveness, vote for Sawant. If you want someone who actually has nuanced ideas rather than a party-driven reflex response, vote for Banks.
The Seattle Times also endorsed Debora Juarez for District 5. Usually that makes me vote the opposite. Now I'm confused.
No mention of sandy brown for district 5.. would like to have heard your reasons for not picking him.
@26 - spot on. $15/hr would have happened without her. But like any good politician, she saw a bandwagon ride getting together and decided to 'lead' the charge. Everything else she's done has been ineffective, self-aggrandizing, and a complete distraction.

You know who likes working with people who think they are the smartest in the room? Nobody.
First, let me say that Lorena González is not a bada$$. She is an average lawyer and most people I know would run circles around her if up against in a lawsuit. She may be better than her opponents as a campaigner, but my question to her is what is her plan for our traffic problem which will stifle our economy. I just went through her entire webpage and found nothing on infrastructure or traffic. Nothing. The notion that we would even consider someone like her, who has no plan for our City's transportation issues, at this critical time is laughable.
Juarez for D5 Seattle Council is the oddest pick here. She was spurned by social justice unions like SEIU and UFCW, or environmental groups like Cascade Bikes and Sierra Club, she didn't get picked by smart progressive orgs like FUSE Washington, she's on record as having worked against environmentalists and union organizers on NA reservations, and according to Seattle Elections most of her campaign contributions come from outside Seattle or from her own pocketbook. Plus she's endorsed by the Seattle Times. The Seattle fucking Times? I guess the "Rihanna vibe" cancels out all that? Definitely one of the strangest Stranger endorsements ever.
You guys are so full of shit. To say that opposition to a city income tax but being in favor of a state income tax makes no sense, makes no sense. The idea is perfectly sound, and Banks will accomplish more of a progressive agenda than Sawant can hope to. Why should the earners in the city take on the costs of supporting the major economic center of the entire state? They should not, while at the same time an income based tax is very much needed at the state level.

The Stranger uses a heavy thumb looking for confrontation. Confrontation that ultimately does not advance a progressive agenda, but is more about tapping populism and grand standing. Banks will be far more responsive to the needs of the district rather than building a populist base for greater ambitions.

Sawant is given credit for "$15 Now" and takes it at every opportunity, in spite of the fact that she voted against the eventual negotiated legislation. Negotiation doesn't seem to be her thing, although I've heard it can be pretty useful in passing legislation.
Bruce fucking Harrell??! One of the worst SEBC endorsements ever.
There are three candidates running in District 2. Josh Farris is the best candidate by far. This paper has followed the exploits of SAFE in Seattle for the past three years. You have interviewed Josh on six occasions, each time heaping praise upon him for the battle he is fighting. To not even mention his name in your endorsement issue makes me question your integrity as a source of information in the Seattle area. Your criticism of Bruce Harrell is the reason he is such an ineffective candidate in District 2. Yes, he's banned the box, but he is culpable for the greatest forced, mass exodus from Seattle in the city's history. He does nothing when homes are stolen, when rent are rising faster than anyplace in the country, and District 2 falls quickly back into the bad old days of hopelessness, lack of opportunity, and crime. With Josh, we have a good chance to start a movement that could bring lasting change to this city. He's endorsed by Noam (freaking) Chomsky. But you don't see fit to mention him. to tell the people of District 2 that there is an alternative to BUSINESS as usual with Harrell. Shame on you. We deserve better.

He is the real deal, and his level of dedication, service, activism and involvement is impressive. He has no ties to large corporations or developers; his key issue is fighting for affordable housing in our wonderful city.

I got a campaign phone call last evening for Grant, and found out during the conversation that HE is also a supporter of Bradburd. The Stranger is supporting Grant, so....well--you took the chapter on logic in freshman geometry, right?
Hi, I'm Josh Farris and I'm the serious candidate running for City Council in District 2. I'm one of the first Iraq veterans in the country to speak out against the war. I'm a Seattle activist that was given an award by LELO for funding a holocaust symposium and doing other good thing in my spare time. I became a union electrician after graduating from UW. Then I joined the Occupy movement and became a volunteer community organizer helping people fight back that were losing their homes. This work taught me about housing issues and policy solutions. Please feel free to check out our website to find out more. Please contact us!
Sawant is light on passed legislation. Seriously? She is light on everything that is in her job description. Sawant is for Sawant and her minions. She doesn't care about the city. She spends more time running around and attaching herself to every leftist protest in the city like it was her idea while achieving nothing. She is backed by the labor unions and doesn't answer to anyone. Get rid of her please.
Thank heaven for #35 in my ballot yesterday I voted Josh Harris.

The Stranger has a tendency to voice the most passive aggressive endorsements such as the one for Adam Klein who thankfully retired and was widely despised in the legislature or again with Pettigrew and Santos Tomas... and with Bruce Harrell

As for the endorsement of our Mayor that was also quite much ado about nothing as this douche is the bag we elected.. I did not vote for him.. oh wait wasn't Harrell running then yet no endorsement there... why?

We need to remind ourselves that we need to start electing people who actually want to represent the people and be the voices of the people. That voice part we have a problem here in Seattle as we actually don't like 'loud" talking, confrontation and conflict. We just want shiny pretty things.

And look at the state of the city.. we gots the shiny, we gots the pretty and we pay for it and then you look down on the ground and the option B for poors is tent towns or garbage dumps. We are becoming a company town in every sense of the word. Let's vote for a candidate who wants to call Seattle instead of the Emerald City - Amazonia. Far more appropriate and those H1B1 Visa holders will be leaving in 2 years and can't vote so huzzah, more overpriced dumps, bad food and traffic!
You're hoping Courtney Gregoire finds some political spine? Given the eight years when her mother served as governor, it'd doubtful that political spine is in her DNA.
" stave off online voting until security concerns are resolved "

When I read about how much money was spent for things like the April special election, it seems that you have a perfect scenario for multi-factor identification with a code on the voter registration card and a code on your mailed informational package that could enable authenticated online voting for some of these special elections that get 24% return rates.
I'm disappointed to see your lack luster endorsement of Bruce Harrell with no mention of a fantastic pro-labor grassroots candidate Josh Farris. Mr. Farris has excellent endorsements (Noam Chomsky and several local unions to mention..) is a union electrical worker, Iraq vet and many extraordinary community organizing accomplishments and awards. You guys must indeed be high not to have given him any mention or consideration.
Was very surprised that Bill Bradburd was not even *mentioned* in the discussion of position #9. As the most viable candidate in the race beside Police Guild and Mayor favorite Gonzales, the least you could have done is mention the reasons *why* you don't like him. Unless you fear that those same reasons will cause some to vote in his favor.

I frequently use the SECB cheat-sheet endorsement list as my go-to guide. This election it looks maybe 75% reasonable, which is well below average.
Tim Burgess is the best councilperson by far and a solid Democrat you guys are so far left its sad, but we know that by your love for Sawant. You people are all the same. Liberals are almost as bad as conservatives. Sheesh.
"Resting bitch face"

Fuckin embarrassing, guys.
So D2 candidate Josh Farris and his campaign staff are trolling the comments of blog posts to get votes? Must be part of the super secret plan to dominate in the primary. Those as marbles.
vote goodspaceguy for port commish.

then, seize the port.
I see no reason to not vote for Josh Farris, and no real compelling reason to vote for Bruce Harrell. He's a nice man, and I think he has good intentions, but he's sort of blah.

So I voted for Farris.
Dori Monson needs to run. He'd tear out all the stupid bike lanes and put car lanes back in, and bury Bertha.
Dori Monson would capture the retired cranks and the unemployed cranks vote. Since there's not many of them to begin with, most of them live outside Seattle, and the AM radio crowd in general is dying off, good luck with that.
SEAMEC has posted their Queer friendly Candidate ratings at this link:…
District one: Your endorsement of Lisa Herbold worked in Nick Licata's office. Those were not her ideas, she worked on them like any dedicated employee would. I would want for the candidate that has ideas of his or her own. If we wanted another Nick Licata, we would have asked him to please run again. Shannon Braddock has her own ideas and they are not totally based on the fact the she is the Chief of Staff for Joe McDermott, but her commitment to West Seattle is solid and life long. She is a solid democrat and worked for the party to help other democrats get elected. That is why she should have gotten your vote. And remember this is the top two not the top one. So you can afford to give a little of this round. Pleas remember what you are doing so that you don't come across as lame to the process.
Liars don't deserve my vote. Instead of Gregoire I voted for "Someone who won't hide the fact that for NINE LONG WEEKS the POS and Ed Murray hid the fact that they negotiated a lease permitting an illegal use of the shoreline of the Duwamish River by oil drilling rigs owned by a corporation whose goal it is to trash Planet Earth and all of its human and non-human inhabitants." #ShellNo

Because he is an actual environmental scientist with decades of experience, I voted for Felleman.

For the same reasons mentioned by @7 and @37, I voted for Bill Bradburd. @44 is right--your failure to even mention Bradford is egregious, and indicative of how this year's election coverage has been lackadaisical compared to detailed and incisive coverage in recent years.

Your most spectacular fail is your lukewarm endorsement of Bruce Harrell in D2. Bruce Harrell is not only the wealthiest Seattle City Council Member, he is also arguably the most conservative. He claims to be a man of the people, but he lives in a $2,000,000 house in a posh neighborhood and constantly brags about having been "a top notch lawyer." He did all he could to block, and in the end weaken, the $15/hour wage ordinance with as many loopholes and elaborate phasing as he another RW members of the council could pile onto it. Unlike Sawant and Licata, he was nowhere to be seen at any of the public meetings in which the Seattle Housing Authority rolled out "Stepping Forward," a disastrous attempt to impose 400% rent hikes on some of Seattle's poorest citizens, huge numbers of whom are immigrants, people of color, single-parent families, and residents of D2. Harrell has talked about police reform, but SPD remains shockingly unreformed in spite of the Justice Department decree, which was signed three years ago. Harrell is an enthusiastic supporter of the youth jail, and I actually heard him say in a candidate forum, "Some brothers need to be in jail." His top priority is adding 100 SPD officers to D2, Seattle's poorest and most non-white district. Harrell seems not to understand that this is certain to increase lethal encounters between the cops and people of color. Harrell has had 7-12 years to do something--anything--for all residents of Seattle, but as far as I can tell, his biggest accomplishment has been talking his talk.

The Gregoire family will need the extra income once the Special Prosecutor sends her to the state pen and fines her for racketeering on the tunnel project.

Why do we get such poor choices for these offices? Sally Bagshaw is the best choice because the others are even worse? She is bland and goes with the flow. Have an issue and want to know where she stands? Sorry, not in my portfolio. And Sawant... we all like the idea of her, but she's collecting the nice paycheck to do the boring work of governing, not act like she's still the socialist outsider activist. And Mike O'Brien, who thinks that photo-ops in the kayak will distract us from his full-body embrace of the HALA development-on-steroids future of Seattle? Come on!
While I'm not surprised by most of these endorsements, I am surprised by the Stranger minimizing Rob Johnson as a candidate because- egads!- he had the audacity to be endorsed by Seattle restaurant owners. Never mind the fact that he has the most diverse set of endorsements of ANY candidate- Sierra Club, Cascade Bicycle Club, King County Labor Council, UFCW Local #21, SEIU 925, the Aerospace Machinists District 751, and yes, the Seattle Restaurant Alliance and Seattle Hotel Association. Never mind the fact that he's an urban planner that's been working on transportation issues- nah, the city council couldn't use that expertise at all and that couldn't possibly be the reason that such a wide ranging group of organizations have chosen to endorse him. The Stranger would instead have you vote for, in their words, the "Rob Ford" of Seattle just to spite those other interests, something that people reading all of the Stranger's endorsements should keep in mind when deciding how much weight to give them.
@50, Maybe you haven't heard but Dori has quit Seattle.
@51, You are right about the retired; the elderly are being pushed out of Seattle. I think, though, that there are still a lot of unemployed people living there.
I'm with you @2 Re position 9 - Alon Bassok is an "urban planner with a focus on real estate and sustainable transportation." That's exactly, what Seattle could use right about now.
bertha, I said elderly and unemployed cranks, not just garden variety elderly and unemployed. There is a difference.

But really, after reading the Jean Godden non-endorsement I have to say it's a very good thing that the SECB wasn't here in the 70's. If they are so faint-hearted with all the "rent hikes, hate crimes, and racist cops" we have nowadays, try living in a city where a third of the workforce had been laid off or drastically affected by the Boeing Bust, the city was still very much redlined and the cops and the WSLCB were operating a protection racket on gay and minority owned businesses. Then throw in Ted Bundy and the George Jackson Brigade.
Catherine Weatbrook for District 6!
She endorses community input into the density debate, instead of the developer dominated decisions our current council has endorsed. O'Brien favors destroying neighborhoods by allowing rampaging development in the name of density.
And so does the Stranger, for that matter.
We don't have to live like rats crammed into a box. We don't have to have buildings up to the property line, we don't have to have concrete poured over every inch of ground, and we don't have to live in between the pollution trapped between tall buildings. But that's exactly what the Stranger and the present officials want for our future.
Vote against these incumbents. Murray and O'Brien might as well be Republicans - just because they favor gay rights, and say the magic word 'density', that doesn't make them progressive. Their policies enrich the 1% of the 1%, while cramming as many of us as they can into tiny apartments.
Just say NO.
One comment on the Pamela Banks support for a state income tax but not for a city income tax, which you claimed makes no sense. I think it makes perfect sense. Look, someone who lives in Seattle and is going to face a city income tax bill can move to Bainbridge, Mercer Island, Shoreline, Kirkland or one of the Points to avoid paying. They have to move to Idaho or Oregon to avoid a state tax. So that's not exactly nonsensical. It's ok to have rich folks here (and we'd like more to move here, to foot the bill for all that low-income housing, early childhood education and other worthy investments--as long as they're paying their fare share).
And @61: God bless you for reminding the young'ns what our town was like when "Here Come the Brides" was the most exciting thing on on our four channels of TV.
I grew up in Iowa, but spent a fair amount of time in Seattle in the 70's. It was always sort of creepy. That's what I liked about it.
Catalina dear,

Ever seen the movie, Cinderella Liberty,?

Oh my yes, with a young James Caan? hachacha....

Or there's the John Wayne film "McQ". What was that other one - "Harry in my Pocket"? All show the faintly sinister Seattle of yore.
Again, the Debora Juarez endorsement is The Stranger at its worst. Corporate attorney, Morgan Stanley exec, anti-environmentalist, union buster, voted out of office by 72% of her constituents as a judge -- all this is on the record. That just doesn't outweigh the Rihanna vibe. The Stranger needs to beef up its research department. Watkins, Elizalde or Brown have much better social justice cred. This one calls for a do-over if Juarez makes it to the general.
I plan to vote for "corruption".
It's the only thing that's guaranteed to win.
Bagshaw, Gonzalez, and Harrell are typical piss-poor Stranger endorsements we've come to see over the years as typical. Just as you endorsed Paul Shell, et al., in previous years.

There are far better choices, also much better to write in a choice than reelect Gregoire to the Port of Seattle, she should be voted out!

Best write in choice: Cleve Stockmeyer, who is the honest and honorable person we can count on in Seattle!

(Agree that Juarez is yet another horrible Stranger endorsement. Reminds me of how Dan Savage gushed about the illegal Bush crime family invasion of Iraq, only to go in the opposite direction; then Savage gushed about Ted Olson when he did a bit of pro bono work on marriage equality at the vile shyster firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, only to go opposite after Olson came out with his book taking credit for marriage equality throughout the nation, and most recently on Savage's gushing about Bruce TransJenner, neocon and self-appointed spokesobject for LBQT, etc.
A general comment: Councilmember Kshama Sawant has done more on the council in her first several years than any councilmember over the past forty years, and the same could be said in comparison with Pamela Banks and her local government record (meaning Sawant has done more than all the time Banks has spent in the city government).

As the said, why in the hell would Banks ever run against Kshama Sawant?

Unless she's representing the Community Development Roundtable, of course!
This paper is looking more and more, too Democratic Party elite. They are the same people who sold out San Francisco to the developers. Remember Feinstein? The so-called progressive left was singing her praises as well. She handed them over, lock stock and barrel.

I would think carefully about each and every one of their endorsements. While some may make sense, I would definitely not take their word as the final truth on any of these matters. I used to value their endorsement much more; I have since learned better.

In addition, some of their criticisms of candidates are full-out libelous attacks without any substantiating positions on the issues. "This person sucks," and apparently, the editors and writers don't think they have to say anything else.
The editors and writers here say some really cock-eyed shit. You know something else they do? They endorsed this bullshit transportation fee. Instead of pushing the state to use marijuana money - in the billions - to fund buses, Just for starters. "Oh we have to do this - we have no choice. They have us by the balls." That was The Stranger. Then, they're writing articles gloating about their improved bus service while they live downtown. Meanwhile, people who can't afford it - up north in what they criticize as car-overkill neighborhoods - are paying for their transportation while their transportation was CUT. And while they criticize them - while cutting their transporation - and for workers who commute late nights performing services for them in their more southern areas. That's Democratic Party eltiism. And why they don't know their derrieres from their elbows when it comes to rising rents and developer take-over. They will kill the city just like Feinstein and friends did in San Francisco, all under the guise of liberalism and knee-jerk political correctness. No thank you "The Stranger."
The Stranger's endorsements get worse every election cycle. Use Doug's Voter's Guide instead.
The squirrelly endorsement of Gonzalez, who your readership seems to find hard to swallow, without even a mention of the more populist Bradburd, is weird. Seriously. The omission is a loud one.
One thing that annoyed me about my district candidates for City Council, in district 5, is all the focus on sidewalks. One of the things that will drive prices for rent and housing up in areas without sidewalks is the construction of sidewalks. Now, of course it makes sense to consider this where it will make walking safer and easier but if you live in some of the cool nooks and crannies of this area of the city you will know that there are places where sidewalks just do not belong. One of the charms of my neighborhood is the somewhat rural feel to it. In the tree filled NE streets along Lake Washington, putting in sidewalks means tearing down many mature conifers and eating up yards and gardens people have cultivated for years. And honestly, there are more important things to work on. I also concur with droctopu5 that no mention of Bradburd is odd.
And not a one of them impress me as having enough cerebral matter to open a jar of pickles let alone run city government. Especially a city where pandora box has been left open by its predecessors and the current administration who is scrambling to get the "evils" under control so that over-inflated housing and general cost of living can be justified and taxed even higher! Good Luck you poor schmucks!
@63: Both Idaho and Oregon have state income taxes.
Why does the SECB completely fail to even mention John Persak in regard to position 8?
Tony Provine won the Stranger readers poll in District 4, and you don't even mention him. You really do hate your own audience. Vote Tony Provine.
Why does the the SECB completely fail to even mention John Persak in regard to position 8?