NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

John Stokes widens lead over Aaron Laing to one hundred and sixty nine votes

A few min­utes ago, King Coun­ty Elec­tions post­ed updat­ed results for the gen­er­al elec­tion, the last time the depart­ment will do so this week (tomor­row is Vet­er­ans’ Day, and no tab­u­lat­ing is done on week­ends). While there’s no earth-shat­ter­ing news to report, the num­bers did slight­ly shift, as usual.

Of course, even lit­tle shifts mat­ter a great deal in tight races, and few races are tighter than the con­test for Belle­vue City Coun­cil Posi­tion 1, cur­rent­ly held by Grant Deg­gin­ger. Two can­di­dates vied to suc­ceed Deg­gin­ger — pro­gres­sive activist John Stokes and land-use lit­i­ga­tion attor­ney Aaron Laing (who was backed by Belle­vue Col­lec­tion own­er and Tim Eyman bene­fac­tor Kem­per Free­man, Jr.). The con­test between the two of them was expect­ed to be close, and it has been.

Stokes start­ed out elec­tion night with a one hun­dred and twen­ty-sev­en vote lead over Laing. Yes­ter­day, he widened his lead ever so slight­ly to one hun­dred and forty-six votes. And today, the trend con­tin­ued, with Stokes’ lead increas­ing to one hun­dred and six­ty-nine votes. That’s an aver­age dai­ly gain of twen­ty-one votes.

Stokes and his sup­port­ers would obvi­ous­ly like a lit­tle more breath­ing room, while Laing and his sup­port­ers want just the opposite.

Near­ly forty per­cent of vot­ers in Belle­vue have par­tic­i­pat­ed in this year’s elec­tion as of today’s count. Total coun­ty­wide turnout is esti­mat­ed to ulti­mate­ly be around fifty-two per­cent; Belle­vue turnout will like­ly be just under that.

If Stokes wins, pro­gres­sives will have suc­ceed­ed in defend­ing all three of the Belle­vue City Coun­cil seats they cur­rent­ly hold, thwart­ing Kem­per Free­man’s attempt to buy a super­ma­jor­i­ty on the city coun­cil. (Pro­gres­sive incum­bents Clau­dia Bal­duc­ci and John Chelmi­nak, who sought reelec­tion, are win­ning eas­i­ly, as is a third incum­bent, Kem­per-backed Jen­nifer Robert­son, who was unopposed).

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