The successful effort to remove three Palmer City Council members featured the highest voter turnout of any city election for at least the past six years.

According to the final vote tally, 877 ballots were counted in the April 19 special election. That’s slightly more than 20% of the 4,929 registered voters in Palmer. The turnout far surpassed the 14.2% of voters who voted during the last regular election in November, and it exceeded all elections dating back to at least 2017.

Voters were asked whether they wanted to remove three sitting council members: Sabrena Combs, Brian Daniels and Jill Valerius, all of whom were found to have violated Alaska’s Open Meetings Act by discussing city business in a private Facebook group that was not open to the general public.

The three council members comprise the hard-left minority block on the seven-member council. Up until last year, liberals enjoyed a 4-3 majority, but a combination of leftist policies regarding mask mandates, criticism of local police, and then the Open Meetings Act violation inspired many voters to restore the council back to conservatives.

According to the latest returns, 57% of voters chose to oust the council members.

The election results will be certified May 3, 6 p.m., at Palmer City Hall. From there, the remaining four members of the city council will select replacements to fill out the terms of the three ousted members.


Sabrena Combs

— Yes: 499 (57.4%)

— No: 371 (42.6%)

Brian Daniels

— Yes: 498 (57.2%)

— No: 373 (42.9%)

Jill Valerius

— Yes: 493 (56.7%)

— No: 373 (42.9%)

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Palmer’s recall election inspires largest voter turnout in years

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.