2019 Primary Election Coverage: Who's out? Who will win? Does Bellevue Self-Fund its City Council Elections?

"Bellevue’s actively engaged citizenry shapes the city’s future."


2019 Bellevue Campaign Contributions as of 8.2.2019This statement from the City of Bellevue's Comprehensive Plan vision is again under attack this election season. Only 531 of approximately 140,000 residents are supporting Council Candidates monetarily. Even though there are many to be engaged, this is a very low percentage.

The state regulates campaign contributions, and candidates must report all contributions. However, there is no requirement that funding must come from the people of Bellevue. 

Bellevue clearly does not self-fund the City Council Candidates' campaigns. Will residents of Bellevue take hold of the campaign reins after the primary?  

Are campaign fund attributes or people contributing to campaigns a predictor of the primary election?

Bellevue Residents are Less than Half of the Campaign 

The largest segment of contributors to Bellevue City Council Candidates campaigns is the home team: individual Bellevue residents, workers, and businesses:

While this is a great Bellevue breakout for home rule, the home team is only up 55% to 45% to the rest of the world.



Interest groups Contributed Approximately 1 out of every 11 Campaign Dollars 

2019 Primary Bellevue ContributionsPolitical Action Committees, Parties, and Unions contributed 9% of the campaign contributions.


Other Washington Cities Play a Major Role

Contributions from businesses in other cities and individuals living and working in other Washington cities contribute 31% of the total.  Seattle itself is 10%. 

Topping the list are Holly Zhang and James Bible with 70% and 50% of their funds coming from other Washington cities. If high percentages of contributions from outside Bellevue continue into the general election, the voices of Bellevue residents are being dampened.



Out of State Contributions Expected to Decrease in Importance

6% of all contributions come from out of state. The out of state dollars are usually from friends and family. These individuals are not likely to be seeking influence in Bellevue. Barksdale, Ye, Walter, and Zahn had many out of state contributors. This contribution source is expected to dwindle during the general election campaign.




Are campaign fund attributes or people contributing campaigns a predictor of the primary election?

Position 1

Holly Zhang
John    Stokes
Martin Acevado

For Position 1, the highest funds received would predict Stokes and Zhang. However, given Zhang's contributions outside of Bellevue, fund distribution would lead to Acevedo and Stokes.

From a voter perspective, Acevado and Stokes have the most number of Bellevue residents who contributed for this position.


Position 3

Stephanie Walter
Jeremy Barksdale

For PositIon 3, the third candidate has not reported any funding, so Barksdale and Walter are clearly the expected, Primary winners.




Position 5

For PositIon 5, there is also a third candidate, but they too have not reported funding. Yu and Zahn are clearly the expected Primary winners.

Janice Zahn





Position 7

For Position 7, highest funds received would predict Robertson with no other clear prediction for the second. However, given Bible's contributions outside of Bellevue, fund distribution would lead to Robertson and Ye.

Margarite Ye
Jennifer Robertson
James Bible

From a voter perspective, Bible and Robertson have the most number of Bellevue residents who contributed. Note: The fourth candidate, Randy Grein, has terminated his campaign.



Who is Out?

Three candidates on the ballot are not funding campaigns:


The Winners?

Two candidates for each position  will move on from the Primary.

Results will be posted beginning on August 6 by 8:15 p.m. on the King County Election website.


Bellevue residents, workers, and businesses     Interest Groups    Other Washington cities     Out of State


Meet Candidates in Person

Here is the kist of Bellevue Neighborhood Candidate Forums. You are welcome at any or all of these events. Time and locations to be announced as dates get closer.


  • Sept 19 Lake Hills Neighborhood Association
  • Oct 1 Bridle Trails Community Club
  • Oct 8 or 9 Woodridge Community Association
  • Oct 10 Meydenbauer Bay Neighborhood Association
  • Oct 17 One Bellevue- All-City
  • TBD Newport Hills Community Club

All data from https://www.pdc.wa.gov Open Data 8/2/2019 4:12 PM

All dollars rounded to the whole dollar