Today's winner: The Kemper Freeman slate in Bellevue.

Longtime Bellevue city council member Grant Degginger announced this morning that he will not be running for reelection, the Seattle Times reports.

In a statement, Degginger said the council has "lost its way" over the past year and a half. "The collegiality, creative problem-solving and compromise that had allowed us to accomplish so much seems to have disappeared.  This community expects councilmembers to lead by example. ... Councilmembers need to take responsibility not only for their own behavior but for their surrogates in the community. The voters should hold them accountable for doing so.

Degginger is part of a three-member bloc on the council that supports Sound Transit's preferred light rail alignment through South Bellevue. The remaining four members of the council, two of them elected just two years ago with financial support from Bellevue megadeveloper Kemper Freeman, support an alternative alignment that would bypass the South Bellevue park and ride, traverse the Mercer Slough wetland, and run along an abandoned rail corridor east of I-405, costing more and serving fewer people than Sound Transit's preferred alignment.

The Freeman bloc also opposes tax increases to make improvements to support development along the Bel-Red corridor, where light rail will eventually go.

Three candidates have filed to run against the incumbents (or, now, for Degginger's open seat): Newport Hills Community Club member Michelle Hilhorst, land-use attorney Aaron Laing, and Bellevue firefighter Patti Mann. Laing and Mann have received money from both Freeman and Kevin Wallace, a member of the 2009 Freeman slate.

Josh talked about the Freeman slate on KUOW this morning.
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