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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

November 11, 2013 at 4:58 PM

Kasner whittles Wallace’s lead in tight Bellevue council race

Nearly a week after the first vote count seemed to show Kevin Wallace defeating Steve Kasner to win a second term on the Bellevue City Council, the election has become too close to call.

No votes have been counted since Friday night, when Wallace’s lead was suddenly cut from 409 votes to 222.

With the next count scheduled for 4:30 Tuesday, Wallace remains ahead, 50.4 to 49.5 percent, down from an election night spread of 51.2 to 48.6 . More than 25,000 votes have been counted, and there may be 4,000 or more uncounted ballots.

No vote counts took place over the weekend or on Veterans Day. Votes will be counted each weekday until results are certified November 26 by the King County Canvassing Board.

Kasner, the East Bellevue Community Council chair who ran with support of the King County Democrats, labor unions and environmental groups, said Monday he had expected later votes to break in his favor, but he didn’t know why there was such a strong shift in his direction Friday.

“I’m on pins and needles for tomorrow night’s count because if I have another day like Friday I’m not losing any more,” Kasner said.

“I can’t explain it,” Kasner said. “We worked really hard to the end. You never really know what messages are taking or not taking.”

Wallace, a downtown-based developer backed by much of the business community, the King County Republican Party and public officials of both political parties, would not comment Monday, saying in an email he had “no meaningful input at this point.”

Wallace’s $138,938 in campaign contributions were roughly double Kasner’s campaign fund, and independent expenditures favored Wallace about two-to-one over Kasner.

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