A handful of officers and members of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C., (GLAA) gathered for more than five hours Tuesday night to rate the candidates in seven of the city’s races. GLAA makes no endorsements, instead rating candidates on a scale of -10 to 10, based upon affirmative answers to a questionnaire, the substance of those answers, the candidate’s record, and a possible ”champion point” for a particular effort on behalf of the GLBT community.
City Council Chair Linda Cropp (D) led the mayoral pack with a rating of 9.5, followed by fellow Council member and mayoral candidate Adrian Fenty (D-Ward 4) with 8.5. Candidates Michael Brown (D) and Marie Johns (D) earned a 7 and a 6.5, respectively.
The fifth major mayoral candidate, Councilmember Vincent Orange (D-Ward 5), did not submit a questionnaire. That, paired with comments Orange made Aug. 19 to Fox 5 News charging the other four candidates as not morally fit to run the city due to their support of same-sex marriage, earned him a -2.5 — the only negative rating of the mayoral candidates.
In the race for Council chair, the GLAA rated City Councilmember Vincent Gray (D-Ward 7) 6 points, but a perfect 10 for Councilmember Kathy Patterson (D-Ward Three). The only other 10-point score of the evening went to Councilmember Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), in his race to retain his Council seat. His Democratic challenger, Scott Bolden, earned 4.5.
In the Ward 1 Council race, openly gay incumbent Jim Graham (D) earned 9 points. Chad Williams, also a Democrat, earned 5.5. Of 10 candidates for the Ward 3 Council seat, nine candidates returned the GLAA questionnaire. Eric Goulet (D) led the strong pack with 8.5 points. Of the 14 Ward 5 candidates, only two returned their questionnaires. Steve Rynecki (D) earned 2 points, with 1.5 for Rae Zapata (D). Joe Harris (D), while not returning the questionnaire, earned 1 point for his record, primarily for HIV/AIDS work. Tommy Wells (D), led the Ward 6 race with 5.5.
A complete breakdown of points awarded is available at the group’s Web site, www.glaa.org.