The year leading up to this election was unusually divisive in Bellevue politics, said Mayor John Stokes.

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After a campaign year fueled by the question of what to do about homelessness in Bellevue, the city is close to installing a council that will decide where to put a new shelter.

In preliminary results on Tuesday, Jared Nieuwenhuis and Janice Zahn were in the lead to win seats on the council, and Conrad Lee and Lynne Robinson looked prepared to keep theirs for another term.

Incumbent Lee had 69 percent of the votes counted, Nieuwenhuis had 54 percent, Zahn had 59 percent, and Robinson had 55 percent.

Election 2017

Statewide and local results

Of all campaigns, Conrad Lee raised the most by far — $158,311.

The year leading up to this election was unusually divisive in Bellevue politics, said Mayor John Stokes.

A proposed homeless shelter in the Eastgate neighborhood — the first permanent year-round men’s shelter on the Eastside — became a wedge issue for candidates as residents packed City Council chambers to give opinions on where it should go.

Three current council members support that site and three are against it, with council member Ernie Simas in the middle.

But with Zahn in the lead to replace Simas and Robinson ahead, Stokes feels the council has a mandate to move forward on the Eastgate location.

Zahn and Robinson have spoken out in support of the Eastgate location, but Nieuwenhuis, who was endorsed by retiring council member Kevin Wallace, campaigned against it.

But both Zahn and Robinson have said the uproar has revealed the need for the city to listen more to neighborhoods.

“I think that this has been a real wake-up call to the fact that the city doesn’t always do the public outreach it needs to do,” Robinson said on election night.

Another topic that came up in this election was safe drug-injection sites — controversial facilities proposed by King County to allow heroin and opioid injection under medical supervision.

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Brown, Zahn and Robinson were targeted by mailers and fliers — paid for by groups supporting their opponents — alleging they support a safe-injection site in Bellevue.

The three posted statements on their websites denying that, and saying they support the City Council’s decision in August banning such sites.

Robinson voted yes to that ban.

POSITION 2 Vote
Conrad Lee 69%
Randy Grein 31%
POSITION 4 Vote
Jared Nieuwenhuis 54%
Karol Brown 46%
POSITION 5 Vote
Janice Zahn 59%
Phillip Yin 41%
POSITION 6 Vote
Lynne Robinson 55%
Steven Fricke 45%