Mirror endorses candidates in primary races

Members of the Mirror’s editorial board have issued the following recommendations for local races in the Aug. 1 primary election. The top two candidates in each race will advance to the general election in November.

Federal Way mayor

In this three-way race for the city’s top job, the Mirror recommends current Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell and current City Councilwoman Susan Honda.

Ferrell and Honda are two of Federal Way’s most recognizable public leaders. Ferrell is seeking election to a second term as mayor and faces a challenge from Honda, who was first elected to the council in 2011.

Of the three primary candidates, both Ferrell and Honda are the most capable of leading the city — especially when it comes to issues such as changing the perception of public safety, managing a multimillion-dollar performing arts center, and bolstering Federal Way’s economic foundation. Ferrell and Honda know the issues inside and out.

The third candidate, Mark Greene, has a few interesting ideas, but lacks the experience and professionalism required for running a city with a population just shy of 100,000 people.

Both Ferrell and Honda should advance to the general election.

The editorial board would like to see all mayoral candidates dig deeper on solutions that reduce homelessness and make Federal Way a more attractive place to do business.

Federal Way City Council position 4

This primary race has four strong community-minded candidates who would make excellent additions to the Federal Way City Council. It’s tough to narrow the field down to just two, but the Mirror recommends Diana Noble-Gulliford and Hoang Tran for position 4.

This position is being vacated by Deputy Mayor Jeanne Burbidge, who is stepping down after two decades of service on the council. As a former council member, Noble-Gulliford would bring a deep understanding of city government and city planning. She’s a local history expert who asks the right questions and does her homework. She views the city through the lens of a longtime resident who has witnessed Federal Way’s evolution and growing pains.

Tran is a newcomer to politics, but he has a compelling background that could bring a fresh dynamic to the council. Tran is an immigrant who fled Vietnam for the U.S., overcame homelessness and eventually became an administrator for the state Department of Social and Health Services. In his 26-year career, he has spent the past six years managing the DSHS branch in Federal Way — experience that includes budgeting and spending taxpayer dollars. Tran has the potential to be a bridge builder in a city whose demographics have become much more diverse, both culturally and economically, over the years.

The other two candidates in this race, Jack Stanford and Sharry Edwards, also have extensive community involvement and positive outlooks. Either would make a fine council member.

Stanford has been doing business and living in Federal Way for decades. He has been a longtime mentor for youth in the community and he knows the issues. Stanford articulates his positions well and would bring valuable behind-the-scenes experience to the council.

Edwards has taken a leadership role in a city initiative that addresses the homelessness problem in Federal Way. Aside from a keen understanding of social issues, she also brings business ownership experience to the table and wants to focus on strengthening small businesses.