Paucity of local endorsements mark City Council races

The 11 active candidates running for Sammamish City Council have of local endorsements as the Aug. 1 primary closes in.

Some candidates have no endorsements listed on their web sites, which are also—for the most part—appallingly devoid of substantive discussion of their issues.

No endorsements listed

Position 1 candidates Mark Baughman and Jason Ritchie have no endorsements at all listed on their web sites. Ritchie lists an endorsement by the Washington Conservation Voters on his Facebook campaign page.

Position 1 isn’t on the Aug. 1 primary ballot. Since only two candidates filed, they go straight to the Nov. 8 general election.

Position 3 candidates Minal Ghassemieh, Karen Howe and Karen Moran have few identifiable Sammamish endorsements.

Ghassemieh has 45 individual and 19 elected officials and organizations listed as endorsing her. Cross-checking the endorsements with her campaign contributions on file with the State Public Disclosure Commission shows that 25% of the 64 endorsements can be identified as coming from Sammamish.

Howe shows only three endorsements, all from organizations. She does not list any individuals and none from Sammamish.

Moran shows five endorsements, of which two are individuals from Sammamish: environmentalist Wally Pereyra and Doug Eglington, a former board member of the Lake Washington School District.

Position 5 candidates are Chris Ross, Ryika Hooshangi and Rituja Indapure. Ross and Hooshangi show no endorsements.

Indapure lists 43 individuals, nine elected officials and 12 organizations. Cross-checking the individuals against her PDC filings show 28% of her endorsements are from Sammamish. Two are recognized names in the community, Hank Klein and Sid Gupta, both currently serving on the Parks Commission.

Position 7 candidates are Melanie Curtright, John Robinson and Pamela Stuart. Robinson lists no endorsements. Stuart lists 15 individuals, three of whom cross-check to her PDC filings are being from Sammamish (including Thom Stuart, presumably a relative).

Curtright does not list any local endorsements.

Why local endorsements are important

Local endorsements are important when Sammamish Comment considers the strength and weaknesses of candidates for City Council.

A broad base of local endorsements, from across party lines (even though the City Council races are non-partisan) and independents demonstrate a non-partisan or bipartisan appeal.

Endorsements from recognized local names who are community leaders also are important. Merely having a long list of names, while perhaps impressive to some, without identification of local connection, isn’t especially meaningful, in the view of The Comment.

In the 2015 Council election, candidates Ramiro Valderrama, Christie Malchow and Tom Hornish had a long list of endorsements of individuals, electeds and organizations that demonstrated broad support. Many of the individuals were recognized local leaders in the environment, community groups and organizations.

Mayor Tom Vance, who was running for reelection, and Mark Cross, who was a former councilman and mayor seeking to return to the Council, in contrast had few endorsements or contributors. The lack of endorsements and support was telling.

The paucity of endorsements generally and of local endorsements in particular by the 11 active candidates tells The Comment that they haven’t reached out to local residents sufficiently to garner their support or they haven’t won their support. At this point, it’s likely the former rather than the latter.

Lack of website detail

The lack of detail on most of the candidates’ websites about their positions is concerning to the voter who goes there for information.

Howe’s website is perhaps the best, followed by Indapure. All the others are little more than essentially placeholder websites.

Ritchie, who is making his third run for public office, has a superficial website. He should know better.

1 thought on “Paucity of local endorsements mark City Council races

  1. This is concerning. I am so thankful you are surfacing for us. I don’t know these folks, and it feels like we may not be represented by these people. I worry about that. Are some of these folks just looking for a notch in their belts with visions of a political career path? It’s disturbing.

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