Style uses rigorous science to identify the next councilperson. 

The Kaine Quotient

Richmond City Council is trying to decide how to select a 2nd District Council member to replace Mayor Timothy M. Kaine now that he plans to step down Sept. 10 to run for lieutenant governor.

Should Council hold a special election? Should it appoint a replacement after holding a public hearing? Should it take a nonbinding poll to determine the voters' preference? Should it ask the replacement to promise to not run in the general November 2002 election?

So many questions, but only one assumption: Change is bad. In Richmond, anyway.

With that in mind, Style offers the Kaine Compatibility Quotient, a tool for council members and 2nd District residents to compare the informal candidates for Kaine's seat with Kaine himself.

We've rated the three candidates — Barbara B. Abernathy, president of the Carver Area Civic Improvement League; Mark E. Emblidge, member of the Richmond School Board and executive director of the Virginia Literacy Foundation; and William J. Pantele, a lawyer and member of the Richmond Industrial Development Authority — according to their similarity with Kaine. (Abernathy's score is questionable, as she didn't return our requests for information.) Each received a KCQ Score; a perfect match would get 100 points out of a possible 100.

The winner: Bill Pantele!

"Thank you very much," Pantele tells Style. "But I am waiting for the one that counts."

Format: Candidates are given 10 points for each question that matches one of Kaine's. In the case of number questions, the candidates' answers are subtracted from Kaine's, then from the score of 10. The points are totaled, divided by 14, then multiplied by 10. A perfect KCQ index is 100.


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