Longtime Bellevue City Council incumbent Conrad Lee had 56% of the vote in Tuesday night’s election returns to lead challenger Dexter Borbe in the Position 2 race. For Position 4, Deputy Mayor Jared Nieuwenhuis was ahead of Ruth Lipscomb, with 58% of the vote count.
Mayor Lynne Robinson had 70% of the vote in her race against Dr. Gina Johnson for the Position 6 seat. In Bellevue, city council members choose a mayor and deputy mayor among themselves every two years.
Lee first elected in 1994, is the City Council’s longest-serving member. He was chosen by councilmembers to be deputy mayor in 2010 and mayor in 2012. Borbe owns and operates Interim HealthCare, a home health care and nurse staffing agency.
In the August primary, Lee received 57% of the vote against three other candidates. Borbe took second place, with 28%. A win by Lee has seemed likely, given his political connections, campaign funding and primary election performance. Borbe received several significant endorsements, including from three Bellevue council members and Robinson.
Lee raised $166,000 and Borbe raised $52,466, as of Friday. Lee raised more money than any City Council candidate in the state, outside Seattle. Lee is endorsed by the Bellevue Police Officers Guild, Eastside Business Alliance and Bellevue Firefighters. Borbe’s endorsements include The Seattle Times editorial board, the Sierra Club and King County Democrats.
The Position 4 race between Nieuwenhuis and Lipscomb was the most expensive municipal contest outside Seattle, with nearly $300,000 in combined contributions. The Eastside Business Alliance spent $153,000 on digital ads, mailers and phone banking in support of Nieuwenhuis and about $11,000 against Lipscomb.
Nieuwenhuis has served one term on the seven-member City Council and has been deputy mayor since January 2020. He is the marketing director for Kalypso Media Group. Ruth Lipscomb is a retired software engineer who worked for Microsoft from 1983 to 1994.
Nieuwenhuis raised $166,126, and Lipscomb $130,347 as of Friday.
Robinson, a physical therapist, served as deputy mayor in 2018 and 2019, and was selected mayor in 2020. Johnson is a naturopathic physician who owns an integrative medical practice. Robinson raised $57,809 and Johnson raised $8,357.
The winners will lead Washington’s fifth-largest city, which faces an incoming wave of new Amazon construction and employees — the company plans to accommodate more than 20,000 workers by 2025. Other issues in the city include affordable housing and homelessness, public safety and climate change initiatives.
In the two races for Bellevue School Board, Joyce Shui and Jane Aras were leading in the open-seat contests for Position 3 and Position 5, respectively. The winners will join three other members on the board of directors, each representing a geographic district.
Shui had 67% of the vote over Faye Yang for the Positon 3 seat. Shui is a senior director at SAP, a computer-software company, and has a legal practice focused on software and technology licensing commercial transactions, and software agreements. Yang is a registered dietitian and health care professional.
Shui received $2,000 from the Washington Education Political Action Committee, a PAC for the state teachers union. She has also been endorsed by the Bellevue Education Association and SEIU Local 925 union. Yang said she hasn’t taken campaign contributions or endorsements from the teachers union because she believes the Bellevue Education Association had too much control over reopening of schools.
Aras had 63% and Gregg Smith had 37% in the Position 5 race. Smith owns a wireless broadband business. Aras said she taught special education classes in the Renton School District for a short time and for a year was a substitute teacher in the Bellevue School District.