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Stokes Wins Manual Recount in Bellevue City Council Race

John Stokes upholds his lead over Aaron Laing in the race for a vacated position on the Bellevue City Council.

John Stokes will replace outgoing Bellevue City Councilman Grant Degginger after the King County Elections office finished an automatic manual recount triggered by a close elections race.

Stokes upheld his slim lead over candidate Aaron Laing after more than 35,000 ballots were recounted.

, Stokes picked up three additional votes and Laing's number of votes did not change at all, according to King County Elections spokeswoman Kim van Ekstrom.

The canvass board will certify the elections on Dec. 16.

Stokes will replace Degginger in position 1 on the Bellevue City Council.

Election night saw the. However, the campaign for the seat being vacated by Degginger grew heated, as .

The mailers were not sent by Laing, who ran a positive campaign, but by a group backed by Eastside developers, including Bellevue Square developer Kemper Freeman.

While one of the key issues in the race was transportation and development, the city of Bellevue has already reached an agreement with Sound Transit on the development of the East Link light rail line. That meant that any new council member would not have to make that decision, but any council member would have to deal with the implementation of the agreement and the lessening of the impact to the neighborhoods along the line.

Read Bellevue Patch for previous coverage of the race between the two Bellevue City Council candidates John Stokes and Aaron Laing.

Reaction

Fuse, which organized a demonstration after a negative campaign mailer backed by Bellevue developers, issued a statement after King County's announcement. (Their demonstration also .)

"The completion of today's hand recount in Bellevue makes it official that John Stokes has won the hard-fought race for Bellevue City Council. By electing Stokes, voters said yes to a progressive vision for Bellevue and rejected Kemper Freeman’s anti-transit agenda and sleazy attacks.

 Fuse is proud to have been a major supporter of Stokes’ campaign for Bellevue City Council. In total, more than 30 Bellevue-based Fuse volunteers and staff made 10,486 calls to Bellevue voters urging them to vote for Stokes. In addition, more than 6,000 Bellevue residents viewed the Progressive Voters Guide in this very close race.

Despite spending more than $1.2 million this election cycle, Kemper Freeman struck out across the board. Voters rejected Kemper Freeman’s initiative as well as his slate of candidates this year. We are pleased that voters saw through these negative campaign tactics and elected a thoughtful, forward-looking leader for Bellevue."

-- Fuse

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