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.

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.

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Bronson & Dunbar lead Anchorage mayor’s race in early returns; Rivera clinging to assembly seat

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Mike G says:

    Wow. I thought Alaska was a conservative state.

    • Sean P. Ryan says:

      The operative word being “was”. Subtract X number of dollars from the economy via industry and replace it with X number of dollars funding various entities through government and the likes of the Rasmuson Foundation and you have the answer as to why. Voting with one’s feet may very well prove to be the deciding factor in this election after all.

  • Vonda Sanders says:

    Wow. So did I. What is wrong with Anchorage. I live in Palmer so I cannot vote . I am very disappointed. Also I have grandchildren there. It scares me.

    • Kfinh says:

      Just like a lot of red states turning purple/blue, the valley will eventually be too. Anchorage folks will vote themselves into such a high tax cap and ruin the city the residents will start moving out to the valley to look for some breathing room and with that they’ll bring their voting values with them.

      • Lobo says:

        Indeed.. But, they have already been fleeing the mess that a lot of them, I say “a lot”, and started to change some things here as well.

    • Alison says:

      It is more than the conditions for the city. As goes Anchorage so goes the state. Look at Oregon & Washington. When the liberals take over the majority it seems the door to crime and debauchery is opened with the state-wide laws that impact us all.

      We need to work on seriously getting out the vote through reaching out to people that don’t vote and actually having a conversation about values. Helping them understand their apathy is a vote for far left progressive ideals.

      Focusing on cold calling the super voters will not help us anymore – Alaska is on the radar as a cheap state to take over. We need to get out there, knock on the doors and talk to our fellow Alaskans, face to face. We need the support of the State GOP to coordinate us from outlying communities to get involved too. We can write letters to our Anchorage conservative voters and light a fire so bright this state will glow red red for decades.

    • Alberto Brandolini says:

      What are you scared of ? Honestly

      • Aunt Sally says:

        Gosh, I don’t know, Albert… Maybe exploding crime rates? Or rapidly spreading vagrancy which has become a lifestyle for many rather than a temporary setback which the homeless should be striving to move past? Or staggeringly bloated government which has the ability to reach into the pockets of the productive with dire consequences for those who want to keep their earnings? Or a shrinking private sector economy? Or further erosion in academic performance rates?
        It’s a complete mystery to me, Albert, but what’s your best guess?

  • Wilson Jones says:

    Felix does not rep west Anchorage.

  • Elizabeth Henry says:

    I would question any outcome with the mail in ballot election system going on in Anchorage. Anchorage has allowed mail in ballots for around three years? Would be curious to compare outcomes of elections for those past three years to years before. Anchorage is certainly more liberal than the rest of the state but it seems recent year outcomes don’t match well the political demographics.
    Add to that it was not well publicized to the Anchorage public that there would be no ‘regular’ polling places. One has to travel to one of three polling locations. How many people showed up at their local polling place only to find no voting as occurring there? Then those that were paying attention and did manage to get to one of the locations, found they were essentially just filling out a mail in ballot on site and placing it into a mail in ballot box. Lastly, how many erroneous mail in ballots are floating around when Anchorage has not purged their voter lists in years? What a mess.

    • Alberto Brandolini says:

      China is deeply invested in the results of the Anchorage mayoral race.
      First they take anchorage then the world.

  • Mongo Love Candy says:

    It’s not LosAnchorage anymore………………….its AnchorageLandia! It’s turning into Portland, next up Marxists Rioters in Black attacking Federal Buildings and calling everyone NAZIs.

    • Proud Alaskan says:

      Let the burning of buildings begin

    • Alberto Brandolini says:

      They programmed you so well.
      Why would anyone riot in Alaska ?
      Just ask yourself that…

      • Michael S Totten says:

        For the same reason that you troll these threads and make ignorant comments,, because they are soul less liberal pieces of trash who refuse to contribute to anything productive

  • Alison says:

    Soooo…. yet again the all for one, one for all coordination of the far left is winning. If the egos of the other conservative candidates for mayor would have allowed them to step down it would be Bronson 6,171 to Dunbar 3,701. We can only pray Dunbar doesn’t get the 45%.

    Maybe this way is better? I’m sure deals are struck and obligations made when selecting who gets to be the current golden calf.

    This vote by mail has got to be overturned, but in the meantime conservatives need to better their ground game and out inform their members.

  • C Jensen says:

    If you were waiting for confirmation, this is it. It’s time to pack up and leave the Muni to its own destruction.

  • Sammy says:

    Too bad Robbins and Evans didn’t get behind Bronson. He’d be winning now and no runoff necessary. This runoff thing will just delay a new mayor getting sworn in.

  • Toby Ventura says:

    Too few voters in the game. I’m so disappointed with anyone who threw in the towel and decided their vote didn’t count or are disinterested in voting. Phone banking with Bronson revealed folks who simply are only interested in presidential elections; and many folks not interested in local Gov/politics.

  • JET says:

    I don’t think anchorage will ever have another conservative mayor, as long as we have fraudulent mail-in voting. Pray I’m wrong, and hope Bronson wins.

  • John says:

    By giving more than one Conservative candidate the conservative vote will be split. I think we all saw this coming but failed to stop it. This mistake will hand the left a mayor.

  • Paul says:

    So they stopped counting early last night because it wasn’t going their way! Just proves Stalin right that its not who votes but who counts the vote. I am sure they had pallets of ballots at the ready. The corruption is right in your face! How much more of it are the people willing to take.