Early returns in Anchorage’s April 5 mail-in election show three of the four hard-left incumbents in the lead, while fellow liberal John Weddleton is narrowly trailing his conservative challenger Randy Sulte. The open seat in Eagle River, however, looks well on its way to remaining in conservative hands with Kevin Cross enjoying a wide margin.
If current standings hold, the Anchorage Assembly would pick up one new conservative, for a total of three. That would be one short in terms of being able to block the other eight Assembly members from overriding Mayor Dave Bronson’s vetoes.
Many conservative area residents had hoped this election would turn the tide on the Assembly and yield a strong victory for candidates who back Mayor Bronson’s vision of lower taxes and greater personal freedoms.
In the school board races, both Planned Parenthood-endorsed candidates, Margo Bellamy and Kelly Lessens, are comfortably ahead of their two conservative challengers Mark Anthony Cox and Rachel Reis. Again, if these results hold, Dave Donley would remain the lone conservative on the seven-member school board.
The early returns include 41,316 total ballots, but thousands of ballots cast on election day remain uncounted, including many in-person ballots from the three vote centers. These typically lean more conservative. More results will be released throughout the rest of the week and next as mail-in ballots that were postmarked by April 5 continue to arrive. Results will be posted at 5 p.m. each day.
The early returns on the $111 million school bond package is almost evenly split with 50.2% in favor and 49.8% opposed.
Click here to view the early election returns including the status of several bonds for schools, facilities, roads and parks.