Social conservatives won five on nine races during the Oct. 1 city and borough elections in Fairbanks.
Incumbent Mayor Jim Matherly won just under 50% of the vote to fend off Planned Parenthood endorsed challenger Kathryn Dodge who took nearly 44% of votes. Overall, Matherly had 1,720 votes to Dodge’s 1,516.
Matherly was seen as the social conservative choice. In the days leading up to the election a voter guide issued by the Alaska Family Action noted that Matherly opposed adding special protected classes based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and supported requiring that restrooms and locker rooms in public buildings be designated exclusively for persons of the same biological sex. He also indicated that he would support a policy to ban city funds from being used to pay for or subsidize abortions.
FAIRBANKS CITY COUNCIL SPLIT
In the Fairbanks City Council race for Seat D, social conservative Aaron Gibson defeated Julie Smyth 55% to 44%. Gibson opposed adding special protected classes based on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” He also believes that city funds should not be used to fund abortions of groups that perform or promote them.
In the contest for Seat C, Planned Parenthood endorsed Valerie Therrien won with 62.5% of the vote.
FAIRBANKS SCHOOL BOARD SPLIT
The Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board races were also split. For Seat D, Jennifer Luke beat conservative candidate Mike Kenna 55% to 43%. For Seat C, however, social conservative Matthew Sampson defeated Brandon Boylan 45% to 38.7%.
Sampson was on record opposing the use of school district resources to provide abortion or contraception to students. He also supports parents’ rights to withdraw children from any activity or class the parent believes to be harmful. With regards to student privacy, Sampson maintains that school districts should require that restrooms and locker rooms be used exclusively by persons of the same biological sex. He also wants the Fairbanks School Board to rescind its resolution proclaiming October as “LGBTQ History Month.”
BOROUGH ASSEMBLY RACES SPLIT
The four Fairbanks Borough Assembly races were also split with two conservatives picking up seats.
Matthew Cooper defeated conservative candidate Zachary Floyd 57.6% to 41.5% for Seat I. Similarly, for Seat C, Planned Parenthood endorsed Mindy O’Neall defeated conservative candidate Jeffrey Rentzel 53.6% to 45.7%.
The other two assembly races, however, went to social conservatives. For Seat E, conservative backed candidate Jimi Cash defeated Planned Parenthood supported Geoffry Wildridge 44% to 37.9%. Likewise, Frank Tomazewski defeated Planned Parenthood endorsed Shaun Tacke 47.8% to 36.4% to take Seat B. Both victors, Cash and Tomazewski, oppose special legal protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, oppose drag queen story hours in public libraries, and oppose using borough funds to fund and promote abortion.