The second round of vote tallies were released, May 12, for the Anchorage mayoral runoff, showing conservative candidate Dave Bronson now with a slight edge over his far-left opponent Forrest Dunbar.
On election night, Dunbar held a 114-vote lead, but that was expected to melt away as ballots from in-person and election day voters were tallied. This group is more inclined to vote on the traditional day of the election (this year May 11), and many have a penchant for casting their ballots in person.
As of May 12, Bronson now holds a 278-vote lead, a gain of 342 votes over Dunbar since the initial election night results.
To date, 76,135 votes have been tallied by election officials. That’s 32.15% of the voting population and there are several thousand more votes to be counted.
On election night, Bronson said he expected later votes to break in his favor just as they did in the initial April 6 election, which ultimately resulted in the May 11 runoff.
“We are very happy with our numbers, just like in our first election…we had massive amounts of voters breaking late giving us the lead,” Bronson said via his campaign Facebook page. “We will respect the process and wait for the thousands of ballots that were dropped in the mail or in the boxes today.”
Dunbar released a statement May 12, acknowledging that the race is razor close and that it may come down to a recount.
“[T]he other side has already made it clear that they plan to fight to the finish,” he stated. “This means our team needs to be prepared for every eventuality, including a potential recount.”
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The city will conduct an automatic recount if the candidates are separated by at least 0.5% of the total vote, which is currently the case. Bronson enjoys a 50.18% to 49.92% lead.
If Bronson ultimately prevails, he will deal with an Anchorage Assembly which is firmly control by the political left. Throughout his campaign, Bronson has been highly critical of COVID mandates imposed on residents throughout the past year, all of which were strongly supported by the outgoing acting mayor and most of the Assembly, including Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar.
One week before the May 11 runoff election, Dunbar and the majority of the Assembly voted to rescind nearly all mandates, including mask wearing, which were increasingly unpopular and ignored by many residents.