Friday, November 5, 2010

‘Huge’ voter turnout in Bellevue

Burns, Patterson and Plott win council seats

Express Staff Writer

Bellevue city staffers were up until 4 a.m. Wednesday counting election ballots cast in Tuesday's election. More than half of registered Bellevue voters turned out in a close race for three City Council seats.

The 2009 election that seated Brett Gelskey, Dave Hattula and Gene Ramsey brought out only 14 percent of voters. This election brought out 540 of 1,052 registered voters, more than 50 percent.

"It was an excellent turnout," said City Clerk Dee Barton, who stayed up until the wee hours. "We did a couple of recounts."

Candidates Sara Burns, Barb Patterson and Larry Plott won seats on the City Council. In a field of six candidates seeking three open seats, Burns got 307 votes, Patterson 286 and Plott 248. Randy Leighton got 243 votes, Nola Kacalek 148, and Maria Anta 131.

The race for the third council seat was very close, with Plott winning over Leighton by only five votes.

"The huge turnout just means that people were passionate about the election," said Mayor Chris Koch, who ran uncontested for the mayor's office.

Koch received 471 votes, 87 percent of those cast.

"I hope the three candidates who did not win will run again next November," he said. "There will be three seats open at that time. All of the candidates who ran had great ideas and qualities and would have been assets to the council."

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