"I have a critical assessment of the WASL."
"We've reached a point as a society where we know better than to spend billions making global warming worse. We're smarter than that."
"About 70 percent of the freight coming through the port is discretionary—this doesn't sound like a pickup line—so they'll go to whichever port can get it to the American Midwest first."
These don't sound like pickup lines—unless you're in politics. To wit, a handful of candidates for positions ranging from School Board to King County prosecutor skipped a headier City Council debate in Georgetown last Tuesday to participate in "Candidating" at the Pike Pub and Brewery. The event, sponsored by City Club and Seattle Works, was a chance for voters to sit down with office seekers for three minutes at a time to ask any burning questions not addressed by flyers and stump speeches.
"Hopefully you can get them off their talking points," said Ed Prince of Seattle Works, who estimates that about 30 prospective voters showed up.
"You can get names and numbers," host C.R. Douglas of the Seattle Channel told the small gathering. I did, and here's the verdict.
• Most likely to give up her digits: Maria Ramirez, Seattle School Board, District 6. Ramirez didn't actually make an appearance, but her proxy, Stephanie Fox, was dishing out flyers. "I think I'll be doing a lot of note taking and giving out her home phone number," Fox said.
• Best looking: Stephen Miller, Simple Majority for Our Schools. When he spoke of draconian cuts as the result of failing school levies required to hit a 60 percent majority to pass, I found myself feeling convinced by his thick red hair and charming smile. Activists take heed.
• GQ-bound: Bill Bryant, Port Commission. He has a wavy silver mane and sculpted facial hair and wore the dark-charcoal-suit/no-tie combo that the men's mags consider an outfit for all seasons. Not very Seattle, this one, but he's very concerned about encroaching competition from ports in Vancouver and San Francisco due to bad traffic getting out of town.
• Best proxy: David Namura for City Council incumbent David Della. Namura, who took the Fifth on questions about drinking on the campaign trail, kept it light and stayed on the talking points, specifically public safety.
• Oddest statement by proxy: City Council candidate Judy Fenton was represented by campaign manager Keith Ljunghammar, who said: "She had an interesting idea at 4:30 in the morning about the SuperSonics." It was a semi-dreamlike vision of congratulating youth who complete meth recovery programs at center court in KeyArena, and this would somehow encourage the Sonics to stick around a little longer. "Is she going to have more of those 4:30-in-the-morning ideas trying to solve Seattle problems?" he asked. More important, will those solutions always have such a David Lynch kind of feel?
• Best job working "candidating" into your pitch: Bob Edwards, Port Commission. "It [candidating] could be fun, but it could be kind of difficult getting here. That's why I'm in favor of the roads and transit."
• Most questionably self-deprecating: Harium Martin-Morris, School Board, District 3, who said, "I'm just a parent of school-age children," before rattling off his extensive list of qualifications.
• Best wing-woman: Sally Soriano, School Board, District 1. Soriano, the one who doesn't like the WASL, brought friend and policy buff Martha Schmidt, who drank Heirloom Amber while pitching her favorite candidate to voters.
• Biggest liar: Darlene Flynn, School Board, District 2. "I've never had any mack, so I don't have a pickup line," she said, before going on a tear about civil rights and equality in public schools that was nothing but macktastic.
• Looking for a commitment: Sherry Carr, School Board, District 2. Participant John Hoey told Carr: "I hope that you're in it for the long haul." "I am," she replied emphatically.
• Hint of a fun side: Peter Maier, School Board, District 1. He has a multiple-point plan for the schools involving things like dealing with institutional health, as well as math and science programs. I was about to give up on this one when he said, "I'm limiting myself to one beer." Sometimes he doesn't? Detailed policies and occasional booziness could be just what the School Board needs.
• Most honest desperation: Steve Sundquist, School Board, District 6. His take on the event says it all: "I don't mind the format, I just need the votes."
• Cutest back story: Alec Fisken, Port Commission. He couldn't shake the nickname Sandy until college. And he knows a lot about surface options for commercial transit.
• Boyish idealist: Patrick McGrath, fighting the roads-and-transit measure on behalf of the Sierra Club. He wants light rail but not the roads, and says things like: "It's time to take a stand on global warming." Totally adorable.
• Guy to take home to the parents: Bill Sherman, King County prosecutor. He's tall, a little rumpled, and talks about protecting the elderly from scammers and children from predators. His pickup line: "I share your values and your priorities."