Bellevue City Council: The results are in

Conrad Lee, new mayor of Bellevue. Photo courtesy of

In November, Bellevue city voted on new members for the City Council. John Stokes came out ahead in that election, and on Tuesday night, the new member was sworn in. A new mayor and deputy mayor were also selected at this eventful meeting from within the Council’s ranks.

John Stokes won the election by a manual recount after machines in the King County elections office registered the vote as too close to count accurately between Stokes and opponent Aaron Laing. The original count showed Stokes 17 percent in the lead, and after the manual recount, he won by 20 percent.

Stokes plans to open the government and encourage more efficient and timely operations.

Overall, Bellevue City elections favored the incumbent for positions. Neither Stokes nor Laing were incumbents running for position one, but most other positions were dominated by returning councilmembers.

At the meeting that saw Stokes sworn in, the new Council voted on a mayor and deputy mayor. As a city with a City Council government style, the mayor and deputy mayor are elected from within the Council’s ranks every two years. This year, the vote was unanimously given to Conrad Lee, the first Asian-American to hold the post.

Newly elected deputy mayor Jennifer Robertson said, “It’s important to note that we just chose the first Asian-American mayor in our history, and that’s an important milestone.”

Data from the census has shown Bellevue becoming increasingly diverse since 2000. The election of a minority mayor is another example.

Lee has been on the council for seventeen years, since 1994, and was deputy mayor under his predecessor for the last two years. He lives in Bellevue with his wife Winnie, with whom he has two grown children, Jennifer and Christopher. Lee and Winnie came to the US from Hong Kong in 1958, and have been residents of Bellevue since 1967.

Lee received a Bachelor’s of Science and Engineering from the University of Washington, and a Master’s of Business Administration from University of Michigan. He has worked as a Boeing engineer, a stock broker, an international trade consultant, and more. He has also been a Cub Scout manager and a Little League baseball coach.

His new deputy won the election as an incumbent; Robertson ran unopposed in the November election and was unanimously chosen to become the new deputy mayor. She has been serving on the Council since 2009.

Robertson has a Doctorate of Jurisprudence cum laude, and a Bachelor’s of Arts. She has worked at several attorney’s offices over the past twenty years. She has a husband, Scott, and two daughters.

It’s the beginning of 2012 and the Bellevue City Council has been shuffled and re-elected. With the exception of John Stokes, the incumbents came out ahead, and with former deputy mayor rising to full mayor, Bellevue will hopefully continue to prosper.