What many believed was a neck-and-neck race between the two leading conservative candidates for Anchorage mayor wasn’t even close, according to initial early returns. Dave Bronson has quadruple the votes of fellow conservative Mike Robbins. With 10,606 votes counted so far, Bronson has 3,116 votes to Robbins’ 745. Far left candidate Forrest Dunbar leads all mayoral candidates with 3,701 votes, but there are likely 50,000 or more ballots left to tally.
Bill Evans, who ran as a moderate, center-right candidate has drawn 999 votes in early returns, and city manager Bill Falsey currently has 1,281 votes. A smattering of 10 other candidates drew limited support. If no candidate wins 45% of the vote – which appears likely – there will be a runoff between the top two vote getters.
Aside from choosing a new mayor, voters were also asked whether West Anchorage Assemblyman Felix Rivera should be recalled from office. As of election night, Rivera was hanging onto his seat. A total of 638 have voted to oust him, while 939 think he should keep the seat he initially won last year. Again, the early returns could change as they only represent 3.9% of all eligible voters in Assembly District 4.
ALASKA WATCHMAN DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX
On the school board front, a quartet of hard left candidates – all endorsed by Planned Parenthood – were leading in initial returns. For School Board Seat B, liberal candidate Kelly Lessens was ahead of conservative Judy Norton Eledge 3,699 to 3,376. Likewise, in the School Board Seat E race, left-leaning Pat Higgins leads solid conservative Sami Graham 3,264 to 2,692. Similarly, Dora Wilson is far outpacing conservative Kim Paulson 4,260 to 2,888 for Seat F. In the final school board race, incumbent Elisa Vakalis, considered a centrist candidate, was behind liberal challenger Carl Jacobs, 4,166 to 4,726 for Seat G.
Anchorage also appears ready to take on new debt with six out of seven bond proposals leading in early returns. These deal with facility maintenance, capitol improvement projects, public safety, fire fighters, police, parks and recreation, library facilities and roads. The only bond proposition slightly behind on election night was Prop. 1 which asks voters to approve nearly $7 million in debt to address building upgrades, code improvement projects, pool filtration and solar panels.
This is a developing story.