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.

Friday, December 9th, 2011

John Stokes wins extremely close election for Bellevue City Council Position #1

It’s over, at last: After a two-day manda­to­ry recount trig­gered by an extreme­ly close final spread in the con­test for Belle­vue City Coun­cil Posi­tion #1, we final­ly have a win­ner: pro­gres­sive activist John Stokes, whose final mar­gin of vic­to­ry end­ed up being just fifty-four votes. That’s less than the pop­u­la­tion of one precinct.

Stokes, a retired attor­ney and edu­ca­tion activist, will take office next month, join­ing Clau­dia Bal­duc­ci, John Chelmi­nak, Kevin Wal­lace, Don David­son, Jen­nifer Robert­son, and Con­rad Lee on the Belle­vue City Council.

Stokes suc­ceeds incum­bent Grant Deg­gin­ger, who announced back in the spring that he would be retir­ing from the coun­cil. Deg­gin­ger sub­se­quent­ly endorsed Stokes for his posi­tion — as did the King Coun­ty Democ­rats, Wash­ing­ton Con­ser­va­tion Vot­ers, Amal­ga­mat­ed Tran­sit Union, M.L. King Coun­ty Labor Coun­cil, and many oth­er pro­gres­sive organizations.

Stokes’ vic­to­ry is yet anoth­er defeat for Tim Eyman bene­fac­tor Kem­per Free­man, Jr., who fund­ed I‑1125 and tried to unseat Bal­duc­ci and Chelmi­nak as well as oppos­ing Stokes. We can now say that Free­man was unsuc­cess­ful on all counts.

Pri­or to the auto­mat­ic manda­to­ry recount that began yes­ter­day and end­ed today, Stokes had a lead of fifty-one votes. He gained three as a result of the recount.

Because the manda­to­ry recount was a hand count (as opposed to a machine tal­ly), there is no fur­ther pos­si­bil­i­ty of recounts.

That means the elec­tion is over and Stokes is the victor.

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