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).