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November 18, 2013 at 5:28 PM
Bellevue City Council member Kevin Wallace declared victory today in his bid for a second term as challenger Steve Kasner’s prospects faded.
Wallace held a 201-vote lead over Kasner with 33,715 vote-by-mail ballots counted. Wallace had 50.23 percent of the vote to Kasner’s 49.54 — numbers that changed little from earlier counts.
Based on King County Elections ballot return statistics released Sunday night, today’s vote count left only 759 more ballots, many of them challenged because of unverified signatures or other problems.
Wallace said he had not heard from Kasner, for whom victory appeared to be “out of reach.”
“I’m excited to be re-elected and have the opportunity to serve the city for another four years,” Wallace said, “and I look forward to continuing our efforts at finding common ground-solutions for all the people of Bellevue.”
Kasner, a substitute teacher and chair of the East Bellevue Community Council, could not be reached for comment.
November 15, 2013 at 4:52 PM
Bellevue City Councilman Kevin Wallace lost some ground but still led challenger Steve Kasner by 185 votes Friday.
Although Kasner narrowed Wallace’s lead by 16 votes, figures from King County Elections suggest fewer than 2,000 votes remain to be counted and Kasner would need to win a significantly higher percentage of those votes in order to win.
Wallace led Kasner 50.22 percent to 49.56 percent after Friday’s count.
November 12, 2013 at 5:02 PM
Bellevue City Council candidate Steve Kasner gained ground on Kevin Wallace today but still remained 172 votes behind the incumbent.
The outcome remained in question as Kasner continued to win a majority of the dwindling number of ballots remaining to be counted.
King County Elections reported 2,777 ballots are ready to be counted and another 863 have been received from voters but haven’t been verified for counting.
Wallace leads with 50.25 percent to Kasner’s 49.59 percent.
Wallace, president of Wallace Properties, was first elected to the council in 2009 and is seeking a second term. Kasner, a substitute private-school teacher, is chair of the East Bellevue Community Council.
Fewer than half of Bellevue’s 74,274 voters participated in the election, which already moved the council in a more liberal direction when longtime Council member Don Davidson was knocked out in the primary and Parks Board member Lynne Robinson defeated Vandana Slatter in the general election.
Wallace, who fought Sound Transit for two years over its planned light-rail route, was backed by the King County Republican Party. Kasner took back his comment made to a partisan gathering that he hoped to create a Democratic majority on the non-partisan council.
November 11, 2013 at 4:58 PM
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.
November 6, 2013 at 10:51 AM
For the second time since the Black Diamond City Council welcomed two massive planned communities that will transform the small town, voters have rebelled, electing development critics by huge margins.
Dave Gordon won the mayor’s job Tuesday after saying he would make sure developer YarrowBay pays city costs associated with The Villages and Lawson Hills projects. He clobbered one-term, pro-development Mayor Rebecca Olness 71 to 29 percent.
Gordon’s political allies Erika Morgan, Janie Edelman and appointed incumbent Carol Benson won with 67 to 76 percent of the vote count.
It was the second election that was essentially a referendum on the urban villages. Critics of the city’s development agreements with YarrowBay won similarly stunning victories in 2011. Now the rebels occupy every elected position in city government, but the earlier city agreements with YarrowBay remain in force unless overturned in court.
November 5, 2013 at 5:45 PM
The National Association of Realtors Fund belatedly reported spending $36,200 for political ads supporting Bellevue City Councilmember Kevin Wallace’s re-election campaign.
Phil Stutzman, compliance director for the state Public Disclosure Commission, said the Realtors filed electronic reports today for $76,000 worth of direct mail, phone calls and online advertising first presented to voters October 11 in support of Wallace and Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt.
Under public-disclosure laws the reports were to have been filed electronically on October 14, the first business day after they were presented.
Instead, the Realtors filed a paper report Oct. 30 and failed to file electronically until today after being contacted by PDC staff, Stutzman said. He said the PDC would investigate the reporting if it receives a complaint.
Wallace, who is running for a second term on the City Council, has reported raising $138,938, compared to challenger Steve Kasner’s $67,689. Labor and environmental groups have largely funded $8,701 in independent pro-Kasner ads and $8,523 in anti-Wallace ads. Business interests including the Realtors have spent $38,700 in favor of Wallace.
November 5, 2013 at 7:07 AM
UPDATE |8:40 p.m:
Lynne Robinson won big over Vandana Slatter for a seat on the Bellevue City Council.
Robinson, a long-time community activist, had a 63-37 percent lead over Slatter in the Tuesday night vote count.
Kevin Wallace, seeking a second term on the council, held a smaller 51-49 percent lead over Steve Kasner. Mayor Conrad Lee handily defeated Lyndon Heywood, 78 to 22 percent.
Bellevue voters today will elect at least one new City Council member.
Three seats are up for grabs in today’s general election. Lynne Robinson and Vandana Slatter are competing to replace Don Davidson, who was first elected to the council 30 years ago but placed third in the top-two primary in August.
City Councilmember Kevin Wallace is competing with Steve Kasner, a neighborhood activist backed by labor unions and the Democratic Party.
And Mayor Conrad Lee faces challenger Lyndon Heywood to keep his seat.
A Kasner victory would wrest control of the council decisively away from the conservative majority that took office four years ago when Wallace, a real-estate executive, and attorney Jennifer Robertson were elected with the backing of downtown business interests.
Without any dramatic political differences separating Robinson and Slatter — who competed for King County Democrats’ endorsement, which Robinson won — they asked voters to decide whose experience and skills best fit the city’s needs.
Robinson, a physical therapist, member and former chair of the Bellevue Parks and Community Services Board and former chair of the city Network on Aging, emphasized her deep community roots and her work to fund parks in downtown, Woodridge and other areas. Slatter, a pharmacist and medical liaison for Amgen, touted her biotech-industry savvy and civic involvement on a broader stage; she was a member of the state Board of Pharmacy and the NARAL Pro-Choice Washington Foundation board before joining the Overlake Hospital Medical Center Foundation board.
November 5, 2013 at 7:02 AM
UPDATE, 8:30 p.m.:
Republican Ken Klein and Democrat Terry Ryan held leads in their races for open seats on the Snohomish County Council Tuesday night.
Democratic incumbent Dave Somers, seeking a third consecutive term, led Republican Chris Vallo 57 to 42 percent.
Klein led Democrat Bill Blake 54 to 45 percent, and Ryan was ahead of Republican Robert Reedy 62 to 37 percent.
Snohomish County voters will elect two members to open seats on the County Council today, and decide whether to keep veteran Dave Somers for a third consecutive term.
Republican Ken Klein faces Democrat Bill Blake, and Democrat Terry Ryan faces Republican Robert Reedy. The winners will replace John Koster and Dave Gossett, who couldn’t run for re-election because of the county’s consecutive-term limit.
Somers, a Democrat, faces Republican Chris Vallo, who hasn’t previously held public office.
September 18, 2013 at 4:36 PM
Bellevue City Council candidate Lynne Robinson is putting daylight between herself and Steve Kasner, saying she believes in keeping the council nonpartisan.
Kasner, who is running for another council seat, said in a surreptitiously videotaped comment to a Democratic gathering last month that he wants to be part of a Democratic “tsunami” on the Eastside.
Robinson said Wednesday that comment “does not reflect my ideology about the council position that I’m seeking. I’m very proud to have support from people all over Bellevue and all political views, and I think we all understand that the council is a nonpartisan role.”
Robinson, a member and past chair of the Bellevue Parks and Community Services Board, said she has “always been a bipartisan person” and didn’t know the political affiliations of City Council members before this election.
Kasner drew criticism from his opponent, Councilmember Kevin Wallace, for his comments to the 41st District Democrats last month that if he and Robinson are elected, the council will have a Democratic majority for the first time. “We have the opportunity to turn the purple Eastside absolutely blue,” Kasner, chair of the East Bellevue Community Council, told the gathering.
Kasner and Robinson are both endorsed by King County Democrats.
Robinson’s opponent, Vandana Slatter, an Overlake Hospital Foundation trustee who unsuccessfully sought the county Democratic endorsement, branded Robinson before the primary as “an insider who plays politics in partisan organizations.”
September 16, 2013 at 5:21 PM
Bellevue City Council candidate Steve Kasner, a Democrat, told a recent Democratic Party gathering he wants to be part of a “tsunami” that sweeps out a Republican majority on the officially nonpartisan council and helps turn the Eastside “absolutely blue.”
Kasner’s opponent, incumbent Kevin Wallace, has seized upon the recorded remarks as proof that Kasner is excessively partisan. Wallace, a Republican, has landed some important Democratic endorsements.
A portion of Kasner’s remarks to a well-attended Aug. 21 meeting of the 41st District Democrats, has been posted on You Tube by “Bob Smith.”
“I am only part of the tsunami that is going to rain down on those who do not have Democratic values,” Kasner declares in the two-minute video. “We have the opportunity to turn the purple Eastside absolutely blue.”
If he and another Democrat, Lynne Robinson, are elected, Kasner continues, “for the first time in the history of the city of Bellevue, it will be a Democratic majority.” Robinson is running for an open seat against Vandana Slatter, who unsuccessfully sought the King County Democrats’ endorsement that Robinson won.
Kasner also says in the video he was pleased that “none of the Neanderthals” on the council was on the way to re-election without an opponent.
Wallace said of Kasner’s remarks, “I think the voters in Bellevue don’t want partisanship on the City Council. . . . What they want is decisions that make their community more viable, and a fiscally responsible council. That’s what they have now.”
Kasner, chair of the East Bellevue Community Council, offered an apology for some of his language, including the word Neanderthals. ”I apologize for some of the word choices I used in a partisan environment,” he said, ”but the sentiment — fighting an incumbent from the perspective of where he and his supporters come from — is not something that I apologize for.”
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