RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Raleigh ranks No. 10 among the final 20 candidates for the big Amazon HQ2 project, according to Seattle-based GeekWire.

GeekWire founder and publisher John Cook handicapped the field Thursday shortly after Amazon disclosed its final 20 candidate list.

“A dark horse with a strong lineup of tech companies and research universities, Raleigh ranked high in our own GeekWire HQ2 competition, finishing just behind Pittsburgh,” Cook wrote.

“There are direct flights between Seattle and Raleigh, but I just wonder if it’s just too small, too low profile. North Carolina’s stance on the controversial “Bathroom Bill” does not help matters.”

GeekWire recently decided to relocate its writers to Pittsburgh next month to report from the Steel City. Pittsburgh beat out Raleigh for the honor.

Cook ranks the trio of Washington, D.C.-area sites as the top contender for Amazon, which wants to build a second headquarters outside of Seattle.

His top 1o:

1-3: Washington D.C. area

4, Atlanta

5. Boston

6. Pittsburgh

7. Philadelphia

8. Dallas

9. Atlanta

10. Raleigh