Opinion

Political relationships matter in council pos. 6 race | Roegner

The Federal Way City Council is a non-partisan position, but political relationships and voting patterns could be important in the race for council position 6.

The three candidates are interesting, likable and involved. Each is an asset in their own way and currently serves the community.

All candidates including these three want more police officers, an improved downtown, better economic development, better transit and no new taxes.

Diana Noble-Gulliford is the appointed incumbent and has served on the council since January. She also served on the Planning Commission from 1991-1997 and has been active in different organizations including the Historical Society for many years. She ran a losing race for the city council a few years ago, but it did give her experience in how to put together a campaign. She has been endorsed by the 30th District Republicans, State Rep. Linda Kochmar (R), School Board President Tony Moore and Councilmembers Susan Honda and Kelly Maloney.

Noble-Gulliford supports the performing arts and conference center (PACC), but only with no indebtedness. If the citizen committee can’t raise its portion of the money, she would vote no. Noble-Gulliford’s background in real estate and banking becomes noticeable as she talks about the opportunities for attracting new businesses downtown.

In regard to the Pinewood Apartment murders, she noted some support for strengthening the landlord tenant laws on gun possession, and is concerned about the rise in crime. Noble-Gulliford may be the most well known of the three candidates, but is still planning to doorbell, use newspaper ads and do mailings. The Municipal League gave her a “Very Good” rating.

Martin Moore has spent the past few years helping to elect others in his role as a campaign manager. This is his first race for public office. Moore has one of the more compelling personal stories. He grew up as an orphan in Bulgaria and was adopted by a Federal Way family when he was 8. He attended schools locally and graduated from Saint Martin’s University. He has served on the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission for several years. He previously worked for AmeriCorps and currently works as legislative aide to State Rep. Roger Freeman (D), who has endorsed him.

Moore has also been endorsed by the 30th District Democrats, former State Rep. Mark Miloscia (D), Congressman Adam Smith, and King County Councilmember Julia Patterson. He supports the PACC, but doesn’t want taxes raised for it. He would consider taxes for other city needs such as public safety, but only as a last resort. While he supports economic development, Moore believes the council should connect better with the neighborhoods. He believes already working in Olympia would give him an advantage in helping on city issues.

Moore believes we need to make sure that guns don’t get in the wrong people’s hands. Moore is not as well known to the general public, but plans to raise enough money to improve his name identification. He is also planning mailings, newspaper ads and doorbelling. He chose an unusual campaign sign color in brown with different sized signs to try and distinguish his signs. The Municipal League gave him a rating of “Good.”

The least well known of the three is Ryan Miller. But he is no less enthusiastic. He has lived here for three years and is the manager of the Hampton Inn. He serves on the Lodging and Tax Advisory Committee and is an alternate to the Diversity Commission. He has the same position as the others on the PACC. He is conservative and leans toward being a Republican. He wants to grow the economy and would not consider a tax increase under any circumstances.

Miller might be willing to return his council salary to the city treasury to raise more money for city programs. He wants downtown to be more pedestrian friendly and would consider closing some streets and adding a sky bridge. He would also use his council position to “push” the school district to perform at a higher level. This is Miller’s first race for public office. Miller was unable to participate in the Municipal League interview. The league obtained enough information to give him a rating of “Adequate.”

All three candidates are interested and caring about the community. Miller appears willing to spend enough money to try and match the other two. But Noble-Gulliford and Moore are the most organized and well known among likely voters. They should advance to the general election. Conventional wisdom says Noble-Gulliford should go into the primary as the front-runner. But there are two things to watch. It is expected to be a low turnout, and with two Republicans in the race, how do they split the Republican vote? Can Noble-Gulliford keep the majority of it, or does Miller take too many votes away? If she comes out with a decent lead, it gets difficult for Moore.

But Moore won’t have any competition for the Democratic vote. If Noble-Gulliford comes out of the primary trailing Moore, the race gets harder for her. In the general election, turnout by party will be very important, as will trying to attract independent voters.

The vote totals in the primary will be very interesting. These are good candidates and this should be a good race.

 

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