Pro-life candidates who support religious liberty, traditional family values and robust parental rights appear to have won four of five contests in the Mat-Su Borough’s Nov. 5 elections, according to unofficial results. Candidates were vying for two borough assembly seats and three school board seats. All offices are for three-year terms.
With voter turnout at less than 9% every vote counted in a couple of closely contested races, which could end in a recount.
CONSERVATIVES SWEEP SCHOOL BOARD RACES
All three school board seats were won by conservative, pro-life candidates who hold to traditional beliefs about parental rights and human sexuality.
In the lead up to the election, school board candidates were asked the following questions by an Alaska Family Council survey:
- The school district should require that restrooms, locker rooms, and similar facilities be designated for and used exclusively by persons of the same biological sex.
- Groups that perform or promote abortion, such as Planned Parenthood, should not be permitted to teach sex education in schools.
- School district resources, including employees such as nurses, should not be used to provide abortion or contraception to students.
- Parents have the right to withdraw their children from any activity, class, etc., that they believe is harmful to the child.
- Written parental permission should be required before sex ed classes; parents must “opt in” their child for such instruction.
- Sex education should focus on “sexual risk avoidance” (SRA) methodology that teaches benefits of refraining from non-marital sexual activity.
In District 2, James Hart beat Ray Michaelson by 26 votes – 600 to 574. Hart agreed with every statement from the survey, while Michaelson did not respond.
Ryan Ponder, who also agreed with every survey statement, easily outpaced Alma Hartley – 296 to 183. Hartley declined to respond to the survey.
In District 7, Jeff Taylor ran unopposed but he agreed with every statement in the survey.
ASSEMBLY COUNT IS RAZOR CLOSE
The closest race was between assembly candidates Brian Endle and Tim Hale. Endle appears to have won by just two votes, 983 to 981. According to the borough clerk’s office, all questioned and absentee ballots have been counted. Any additional absentee ballots will have to have been postmarked by Nov. 5 and arrive by Nov. 8 to be included. In order for there to be a recount, a candidate must request it before the vote is certified on Nov. 19.
In the lead up to the election Endle answered survey questions from the Alaska Family Council indicating that he opposes public funding for abortion, and laws that would pose a threat to religious liberties by creating special protected classes based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Additionally, Endle agreed that the borough should designate that public restrooms and locker rooms be exclusively for persons of the same biological sex, and that taxpayer funds should not be used to promote “Drag Queen Storytime” events in public libraries. Hale refused to respond to the survey.
In the other assembly race, Stephanie Nowers beat conservative candidate LaMarr Anderson with a vote of 610 to 511. Neither Nowers nor Anderson responded to the survey.