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Originally published November 5, 2013 at 9:55 PM | Page modified November 6, 2013 at 12:45 PM

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In Bellevue City Council, Robinson, Lee win; Wallace leads Kasner

Lynne Robinson headed toward a big win over Vandana Slatter and Kevin Wallace leads Steve Kasner in an election expected to move the Bellevue City Council in a less conservative direction.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Lynne Robinson was headed to a seat on the Bellevue City Council, while incumbent Kevin Wallace held a modest lead over challenger Steve Kasner.

Mayor Conrad Lee easily won re-election to the council over Lyndon Heywood, leading 78 to 22 percent.

Robinson’s victory is expected to move the council in a less conservative direction. She led Vandana Slatter 63 to 37 percent Tuesday night to win the seat now held by Don Davidson, who was first elected 30 years ago but placed third in the top-two primary.

Davidson later endorsed Slatter, who raised a record $160,158, nearly half of it her own money, and drew the financial backing of some downtown business interests.

Neither Slatter nor Kasner was giving up Tuesday night.

Kasner, expecting later votes to go his way, said, “We’re tied.”

Wallace said it was close, but with a 2 percent lead, “I’m confident it will hold and we’ll be victorious in the end.”

Slatter acknowledged it would be “a heavy lift” to make up her nearly 27-point deficit, but held out hope.

Robinson said she was “just thrilled with the response from the community” and looking forward to serving on the council.

Without any dramatic political differences separating Robinson and Slatter — who competed for King County Democrats’ endorsement, which Robinson won — they asked voters to decide whose experience best fit the city’s needs.

Robinson, a physical therapist and former chairwoman of the Bellevue Parks and Community Services Board, emphasized her community roots and work to fund parks.

Slatter, a pharmacist and medical liaison for Amgen, touted her biotech-industry savvy and civic involvement.

In the other heavily contested race, Wallace led Kasner 51 to 49 percent. During the campaign Kasner accused Wallace of wasting the council’s time and city money on his two-year battle to reroute Sound Transit’s future light-rail route through South Bellevue.

A substitute teacher and chairman of the East Bellevue Community Council, Kasner also said Wallace too often couldn’t vote on council business because of conflicts with his personal business interests.

But Kasner was damaged by his widely reported remarks to a political gathering that he wanted to be part of a “tsunami” that sweeps Democrats into a majority on the nonpartisan City Council and other elected offices.

Wallace, a downtown-based developer, ultimately agreed to Sound Transit’s rail route and played a key role in crafting agreements intended to reduce the project’s cost to the city and impact on residents.

Keith Ervin: 206-464-2105

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