Last night, a group of developers, lobbyists, and attorneys threw a fundraiser in Bellevue for pro-light-rail Bellevue City Council members John Chelminiak and Claudia Balducci. Balducci is being challenged by candidates backed by anti-light-rail Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman. The sponsors included Boeing lobbyist Rich White, Microsoft lobbyist Irene Plenefisch, Puget Sound Energy lobbyist Jim Hutchinson, and Wright Runstad president Greg Johnson.

Freeman (along Bellevue council member and frequent Balducci opponent, developer Kevin Wallace) opposes a Wright Runstad transit-oriented development in the Bel-Red Corridor, a major future light-rail hub, in part because Wallace wants to develop his own property in downtown Bellevue. Wright Runstad's Bel-Red plans could thwart Wallace and Freeman's big downtown Bellevue development goals.

Balducci is opposed by onetime Bellevue School Board candidate Patti Mann, who has received several thousand dollars from Freeman and his firm, Kemper Holdings.
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