Residents of the Eastside's biggest city seemed to be showing their satisfaction with local government, with both incumbents holding leads...
Residents of the Eastside’s biggest city seemed to be showing their satisfaction with local government, with both incumbents holding leads in early returns Tuesday night.
Councilman Conrad Lee was ahead of attorney Vicki Orrico, his first serious challenger in more than a decade, and Mayor Connie Marshall was comfortably ahead of community activist John Albertson. Both challengers claimed the incumbents had become disconnected from neighborhood concerns.
Voters represented by the East Bellevue Community Council, one of only two community groups in the state with the power to veto land-use decisions, appeared to be approving the council for another four years.
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In an unusual race in which two City Council incumbents went head-to-head, Mayor Patrick Ewing was leading Councilman Jeff Merrill. Instead of filing for his own seat, Ewing filed against Merrill, who he charged was “not doing his job.”
Ernie Bellecy, a member of the Bothell Planning Commission, and Del Spivey, a Bellevue firefighter were neck-and-neck.
A late write-in campaign by Bill Moritz to oppose Joshua Freed, a familiar political figure who had filed for Ewing’s Position 1 seat, was failing by a wide margin.
Whether to build the 1.2-mile Southeast Bypass to funnel cars away from clogged downtown streets dominated City Council and mayoral races, but voters appeared to be returning a mixed message last night.
Mayor Ava Frisinger, looking for a third term, was leading bypass critic and City Councilman Hank Thomas. John Rittenhouse, bypass opponent, led Oscar Kelley, who advocates waiting for the final environmental report on the bypass. Eileen Barber, who campaigned to bring more economic vitality to Issaquah, held a slight lead over citizen activist Connie Marsh, who opposes the bypass. Former City Councilwoman Maureen McCarry was trailing incumbent Bill Conley, an outspoken bypass supporter. Incumbent Nancy Davidson, who has voted against the bypass, held a strong lead over Gail Brothers.
Voters were approving a measure to annex the Klahanie and Greenwood Point/South Cove neighborhoods, but Klahanie residents were declining to take on the city’s debt.
Whether to allow cardrooms in the city dominated races for three positions on the seven-member City Council. Voters gave early leads to three cardroom opponents — Laurie Sperry, Randy Eastwood and Allan Van Ness. Sperry’s lead over Patrick O’Brien, though, was narrow.
Incumbents Joan McBride and James Lauinger had healthy leads over homebuilder Mike Nykreim and urban planner John Spangenberg. Incumbent Bob Sternoff was retaining his seat against Arthur Best, who was deemed ineligible because of residency requirements but still appeared on the ballot. Voters in the Houghton neighborhood overwhelmingly approved another four years for its community council.
Familiar faces were emerging on the Medina City Council, with incumbents Robert Rudolph and Drew Blazey leading challengers Barbara Quinn and Bret Jordan. In the other races, former councilman Jim Lawrence was well ahead of Patrick Boyd, and 80-year-old retired attorney Lucius Biglow Jr. was leading Tim O’Brien.
Voters were favoring City Council incumbents, with Dan Grausz narrowly leading challenger Lisa Belden O’Meara, while Jim Pearman stayed ahead of challenger Bob Baker.
Newcomers Belden O’Meara, Baker and Linda Finkenbinder all pushed for putting more island issues to citizen vote and said the council was not protecting residents’ interests in discussions on the future of the I-90 bridge. Finkenbinder was trailing newcomer Mike Grady in a race for the council position vacated by Mayor Alan Merkle.
Dan Hubbell was leading Steven Buri in the only contested race for Newcastle City Council. Hubbell touted his local experience on the Planning Commission and championed cooperative efforts with county and regional partners for development of downtown.
In a battle between two newcomers with similar goals for Redmond, Kimberly Allen had a substantial lead over Jack Bittner to fill the seat of Councilman Thomas Paine, who chose not to run for a third term.
Allen, a Redmond planning commissioner, and Bittner, head of the Grass Lawn neighborhood advisory committee, said the city needs to nurture entrepreneurs, relieve gridlock and preserve open space for parks.
With controlling growth and creating a downtown dominating campaigns, candidates who pushed for a slower approach to both were leading in late returns Tuesday night.
Incumbent and former Mayor Kathy Huckabay, who pushed for a series of controversial moratoriums on new development, led by a wide margin over newcomer Lynn Rehn, who supports zoning changes and more commercial development. Incumbent Lee Fellinge took an early lead over challenger Steve Wirrick.
In Snoqualmie, where city officials are struggling to boost tourism and close a $2 million budget gap projected in five years, those who favored a more cautious approach to growth were leading.
Tony Yanez, a former city councilman, held a slight lead over Robert Jeans in early returns. Gil Tumey, who pushed for a community center and a vision for Snoqualmie’s future, held the edge over Bryan Holloway. In the Snoqualmie mayor’s race, City Councilman Matt Larson was trailing James “Greg” Harrelson by a slight margin. In the Eastside’s only contested school-board race, Kim Horn, who was appointed to fill Dave Reed’s seat when he resigned last year, held a slight lead over Carolyn Simpson to complete the four-year term.
An Internet campaign from challengers who blamed “old-school candidates” for traffic and growth problems appeared to have some impact.
Although Mayor Don Brocha held a strong lead over write-in candidate Peter Tountas., Councilman Bob Miller was trailing Mike Roskind in early returns. Chuck Price, the only incumbent to be supported by the challengers, held a strong lead over former councilman Gareth Grube.
Another former councilman, Randy Ransom, was slightly behind Hank Stecker.